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Multiple Sclerosis and Hysterectomy

From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List

woman with Multiple Sclerosis having a hysterectomyI have a hysterectomy scheduled and I am feeling concerned because I also have Multiple Sclerosis. Does this put me at additional risk during surgery? What can I do to help prepare for surgery and recovery?


Having a chronic health condition such as Mutliple Sclerosis requires that you be diligent about her health. By itself, hysterectomy is a major surgery and requires planning for a smooth recovery and optimal healing. Combine the two and you do need to be prepared and proactive to allow for the best and smoothest outcome.

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system which primarily affects women. Approximately 300,000 people in the U.S. are affected by MS. The symptoms vary, which means no two MS patients are exactly alike. This can make it difficult to predict how an event like surgery may affect you and your MS.

Generally speaking, the risks of general anesthesia for persons with MS are about the same as those for other people. The exceptions to this involve the small percentage of MS patients with severe, advanced disease who may be seriously weakened by MS or have respiratory problems that would put them at greater risk for complications with anesthetic. Limited data suggests that spinal anesthesia is less preferable than general anesthesia in MS.

There have not been any specific studies regarding MS and recovering from a surgical procedure. Additionally, there is no evidence that the stress of surgery will induce an exacerbation of MS, or a “flare”.

When you meet with your Anesthesiologist s/he should:
  • Perform a thorough Pre-op Evaluation
  • Take your Medication history
  • Perform a Neurological Examination
  • Be aware of any Respiratory Conditions
  • Be aware of any concerns you have regarding nausea, your neck or your back
  • Be aware of any conditions secondary to your MS
To help prepare for surgery and recovery:
  • Ask your surgeon if minimally invasive hysterectomy is an option
  • Engage in a healthy lifestyle including diet and exercise
  • Make sure all your doctors are aware of your surgery
  • Ask your specialist to speak with your surgeon
  • Ensure all doctors are aware of your medications
  • Have a pain control plan in place before your surgery
  • Ask if you should continue your regular medications
  • Discuss your post op restrictions and activity level
  • Some women feel hormonal imbalances can cause their MS to flare, discuss this with your surgeon and specialist.
It is possible for stress and emotional trauma to affect us physically. Do your best to relax and keep calm before your surgery. Have a bubble bath, go for a walk, meditate, or do yoga. Keep busy and distracted with family and friends. Make healthy sleep a priority. Stop all negative or worrisome "self-talk" as soon as it starts. You are in control of you!

MS is generally not a reason to avoid having surgery. Patients who have muscle weakness and who have been confined to bed for more than several days may find it harder to recover from surgery. Physical therapy is often useful in these instances, and should be started as soon after surgery as recommended by a physician.

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.

04-16-2016 - 03:29 PM


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