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Shaving or Waxing before Hysterectomy

From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List

Shaving or waxing before hysterectomyI have read posts on the site where women have shared that they were not allowed to shave for 48 hours prior to surgery. Was this for specific areas only? What about waxing?

Hair removal as part of regular grooming varies from woman to woman, but most feel it to be a very personal choice when and where they shave or wax. Whether you normally wax or shave, you need to check with your doctor before doing either in the days leading up to surgery. This includes not only surgical sites, but your arm pits and legs as well. Each doctor and medical facility will have different policies regarding shaving prior to surgery. Instructions can vary and only your medical provider will be able to tell you what is okay for you. Shaving or waxing too close to surgery can cause it to be cancelled.

Shaving can cause tiny cuts and abrasions. Where the skin is damaged, bacteria can grow and multiply which can then infect the nearby surgery site. Using a razor can also irritate the skin, making it easier for an infection to develop. To minimize infections following surgery, many doctors do not want patients to shave close to their surgery date. Infection risks seem to increase the farther from surgery shaving is done. Thus, many doctors want any necessary shaving or clipping to be completed at the hospital at the time of surgery.

The time frame for when to stop waxing before surgery can also vary, but it may be greater than shaving. Waxing opens pores in the skin which could increase your infection risk. Additionally, a burn could create a sore and infection risk. Some ladies consider pre-op for a hysterectomy to be an idle time to try waxing. However, this may not be the best time as waxing the first time can cause the most skin irritation and pain. If you also have an adverse reaction, your surgery could be cancelled.

Before using hair removal lotions or cremes, check with your doctor as well. These can irritate the skin which could increase your risk of infection. If you have never used them before, now is not a good time to try them in case you have an adverse skin reaction.

Whether or not you will require shaving of surgical sites can also vary. In some cases, no hair from any areas will be removed regardless of the surgery type. In other cases, extensive hair removal is done even in areas where no surgical cuts are made. Your type of surgery will play a part in the decision, but it will also depend on your surgeon’s and medical facility’s policies regarding the pros and cons of hair removal.

When shaving or clipping of the surgical sites is necessary, it may be done while you are awake in the pre-op holding area. At other times, it is done while you are in the operating room under anesthesia. Though being shaved in private areas can sound embarrassing, hospital staff will do their best to help you maintain your dignity during the process.

At times, patients are instructed to shave or trim surgical areas themselves. When this is necessary, your doctor will give you very specific instructions that you should follow to the letter. You may be instructed to trim the hair a certain length or only remove hair from a certain area. Because using clippers rather than a razor can decrease your infection risks, you may be asked to use electric clippers.

Before your surgery, find out if and where you can shave or wax. Specifically ask your doctor about all areas where you regularly remove hair and when you need to stop shaving, waxing, or using hair removal creams or lotions. You do not want your surgery cancelled because of your normal grooming routine.

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.

05-04-2013 - 06:55 PM


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