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Making the Most of Your Pre-op Appointments for Hysterectomy

From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List

Woman to doctor about hysterectomyHow can I make the most of my visits with my doctor regarding my hysterectomy? I feel rushed when I get into office and usually come home feeling as though I didn't get to ask what I wanted to ask. Help?


How you prepare for your hysterectomy discussion appointments, and how you behave during them, can significantly affect the benefits you receive from the time you spend in your doctor’s office.

Studies have shown that doctors spend more time, on average, with patients who are dressed professionally and who are well-groomed versus those who show up at their office wearing work-out clothes or other ultra-casual attire. It is recommended that you dress in business wear, or other “nice” attire, for your medical appointments. Your doctor dresses in a professional manner, and so should you. It telegraphs to the doctor you are viewing this encounter as an important meeting, as it certainly is.

Before your appointment, prepare two copies of a numbered list of questions that you want answered during the visit. Bring them to the appointment, along with any other pertinent medical records, organized neatly in a portfolio or folder and be prepared to discuss your concerns about your hysterectomy. When your doctor walks into the examination room, have the copies in hand, ask if he/she would like one, and state that these are the concerns you wish to have addressed today. Have a pen handy to make notes on your copy of the list. Check-off the questions as your doctor answers them satisfactorily. Don’t wait until you are positioned “in the stirrups” to ask your questions; that’s a bad time for you to retain information.

If you ask a question and do not receive a reply you can understand, perhaps because of complex medical jargon, tell your doctor, “I don’t understand your explanation. Can you please describe it again, in a different way?” Doctors are trained to communicate effectively with patients with of all sorts of educational levels. It is part of their job to make their answers comprehensible to each patient.

Consider bringing your spouse (or whoever will be caring for you after the surgery) along, especially to your final pre-op appointment. That way, your caregiver will have the opportunity to discuss their concerns with the doctor to help feel more comfortable in their role.

At the end of your appointment, tell your doctor whether or not you are satisfied with what transpired. For example, “I learned a lot today, and feel I have the information I need” or, “I still don’t feel like I understand my upcoming procedure.” Your doctor needs to know whether he/she succeeded in helping you with your concerns or not. Remember that even the best doctors in the world aren’t mind-readers. If your doctor is to be your “partner in good health” the two of you need to be able to communicate with each other. Speak up and make your feelings known if work needs to be done in this area. A good relationship with your doctor is an important factor in making your hysterectomy experience as smooth as it can be.



This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

03-28-2005 - 04:02 PM


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