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If Your Hysterectomy is Your First Surgery | Part 1

From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List

Woman preparing for her hysterectomyI’ve never had surgery before and I don’t know what to expect. What will happen when I get to the hospital? What happens when I go into surgery?

A hysterectomy can be a bit scary, especially if it is your first major surgery. Knowing what to expect can help you walk into the hospital with confidence.

When you get to the hospital, you will check in. If you haven't already, you may have to register or show them your insurance card. Sometimes this is already done over the phone a day or two before, but sometimes not. Once you are all checked in, you will get a wristband with your name, your birth date, your doctor’s name, and the surgery date. There might be other information on it, but those four pieces of information are pretty standard. After this, you will probably wait a bit until they call your name.

When you get called, a nurse will bring you into the preparation room for what's sometimes called phase 1, prep, or pre-op. Here you will get into a lovely hospital gown and slippers or socks. Some hospitals provide a robe, others give you a second gown to put on like a robe. At this point, even if you’ve brought your own, the hospital gown is probably the best option—surgery can get messy.

During phase 1, the nurse will be asking a lot of questions. Common questions include your medical history, any medications you are allergic to, any previous surgeries, any medications you take currently, height, weight, and when was the last time you ate or drank anything. You will probably be asked these questions several times by different people and you may think, “well, why don’t they just look in my chart?!” It’s because each person wants to hear it from you directly, not just what was written down. There are also plenty of times when, after the second or third series of questions, you might give a slightly different answer or remember that your mother told you she got really sick from anesthesia ten years ago.

As you answer these questions, it is important that you answer them honestly, even if they are embarrassing. How you answer them could influence how much or what kind of medication they give you. If you have had anything to eat or drink, even chewing gum or hard candy, they may have to postpone the surgery an hour or more; otherwise, the anesthesia could make you vomit during surgery, which, if inhaled, could cause a severe pneumonia.

Continue reading: "If Your Hysterectomy is Your First Surgery Part 2"

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

02-26-2008 - 04:05 PM


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