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My list of questions for the doc... (long) My list of questions for the doc... (long)

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Unread 05-26-2002, 11:13 AM
My list of questions for the doc... (long)

I thought I would post my list of questions I have for my doctor. I had me pre-op consult, and got my surgery scheduled,.. still waiting on ins. pre-auth, but should know some time this week. Anyway, I have my pre-op appt. with in a week, and this is my (personalized) list of Q:s so far,.. can anyone think of anything else I might want to add???
Here goes (long):

- What can I do to physically prepare for my surgery in the meantime?
- Can I use St. John's Wart Spray leading up to surgery and then post-op for emotional support w/o conscern of mixing too many things with my meds?
- Is there anything med.-wise that I have to stop taking prior to surgery?
- What kind of pre-op testing will I undergo? EKG? Blood work? U/S? other?
- Will you check for anemia? Should I be taking extra iron? If so, how much?
- What kind of anesthesia will be used? If general, can I be given anti-nausea med. in my IV prior to waking up?
- Will dental issues be a problem? (I have 2 broken off molars)
- Should my hair finally stop falling out after surgery? If it doesn't, at what point should I seek out another cause?
- Will I need special preping prior to surgery the night before or the morning of? Enema? douche? shower with antiseptic soap?
- How long will the surgery take?
- What are the risks involved?
- How long will I be in Recovery?
- How soon will my family be notified that I'm okay?
- How long before my family can see me?
- Can you remove my apendix while you're in there?
- If I have my cervix removed, what will support my bladder and other organs?
- What is a bladder tac and will I need one?
- How long will be in the hospital?
- How long will I be on bed rest?
- Will a pathology report be done on all organs removed?
- What meds will I be on for pain in the hosp. & when I come home?
- Will I recieve an abdominal binder for support post-op? If I need to purchase my own, what will the correct size be for me?
- How soon will I start HRT?
- Will I continue to see you or my reg. phys. for regulating my HRT?
- How will HRT effect my Synthroid?
- How I can blend HRT & Soy with my Synthroid?
- When can I drive?... How soon?
- How often should I be up walking around to avoid blood clots?
- Can people be around me if they are sick?
- How long before I can take a bath?
- How long before I can use my hot tub?
- How long before I can use my treadmill? @ 1 mi./hr.? @ 2 mi./hr.? @ 3 mi./hr?
- How long before I can begin doing crunches? use the thighmaster? handweights? 1#? 2#? 3#? 5#?
- How much am I allowed to lift around the house, and at what intervals does it increase over the weeks?
- How long before I can pick up my kids, or I'll be comfortable for them to sit on my lap?
- Can I combine cranberry juice and cranberry extract pills to help ward off UTIs?
- Aside from plenty of water, can I combine Gas-X, stool softners, and Benefiber to help ward off constipation & gas?
- What about using Bean-O, as well as Pepcid Complete or Tums, to enable eating vegetables w/o the gas effect?
- What post-op side effects will I need to be aware of and watch for?
- When will my first post-op check-up be after I return home?
- What kind of special care will the incision and stitches require post-op?
- When will the stitches come out?
- With careful planning, will I be able to cre for my 3 young children after the first week home?
- How far can I travel during recovery time?
- How long before sex can be attempted to be resumed?
- On top of my reg. multi-vitamin,. Can I take addt'l vit. C to help healing? Should I begin taking it now, prior to surgery?
- Can I take addt'l vit. E to help my scar, etc. heal more quickly? How soon could I use it topically? After my scar is healed enough can I do both?
- Is vaginal bledding normal post-op? If so, how much is normal?
- What about vaginal discharge afterwards?
- Can we still perform the surgery if I am menstruating? (I shouldn't be, but you never know)
- What kind of foods are best for me post-op?
- What can I do to help speed my recovery along, aside from plenty of rest & water?
- On water consumption: How much is too much?
- How long before all restrictions are lifted and I can resume my life as normal?

Anyway, sorry for the length, but I thought if you all saw my list then maybe you might spot anything I may have (or not) missed.

Thanks, girls!
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Unread 05-26-2002, 11:39 AM
Here's the ones I asked....

You had a lot of the same ones I asked but here's the ones I had that you didn't.

Why a TAH not a TVH?
Vertical or Horizontal incision?
Staples, stitches or steri-strips on my incision?
Will I be able to talk to the "A" man beforehand?
Can I have my prescriptions ahead of time to have filled before I get home?
When will I start HRT?
What HRT do you typically give?
Can I have an antibiotic put in IV to ward off UTI?
Hope these help you!
s and s
Unread 05-26-2002, 11:48 AM
My list of questions for the doc... (long)

Hi Tahnee,

WOW!! Right now I can't think of anything that you have missed. One thing that might help your doctor to cover them all, though, is if you organized your questions into pre-op, hospital-related and recovery questions, and give your doctor a copy to follow along with you.

I can take a stab at a couple of your concerns - the best thing that you can do for yourself leading up to your surgery date is to get enough rest so that you aren't exhausted beforehand. You'll recover faster if you're rested when you go to the castle.

And here is a link with information about taking herbs before surgery
the recommendation is to stop taking St. John's Wart 5 days before surgery.

If your bladder is prolapsed then your doctor might need to do a bladder "tack" which is a procedure that pulls the bladder back up where it belongs, but as far as I know, the bladder isn't supported by your cervix and so the removal of your cervix won't cause a problem at all.

Does your doctor plan to remove your ovaries? Unless they aren't healthy, most doctors will recommend that you keep them, especially at your age, so you may not need to ask about HRT.

As with the questions about HRT, many of your other questions are going to be specific to you, to your situation and to your doctor, but I think it's great that you have taken the time to think about them.


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Unread 05-26-2002, 12:47 PM
My list of questions for the doc... (long)

Hi, Tahnee -

Wow, what a great, comprehensive list! I concur with Karen's suggestion to group them and give him a copy.

I had my period going in to surgery, so it should be no problem. Let them know, though.

I doubt the ob-gyn will have a clue about the synthroid issues. You should be able to take the estrogen any time of day (unlike things like calcuim and iron that should be taken at a different time, but estrogen DOES often affect Synthroid levels, so talk to your endo - you should have your levels checked and adjusted if necessay.

Oh, and don't forget a pencil or pen, unless you have a photographic memory!! :-)

Unread 05-29-2002, 09:49 AM
Thanks, girls!

Good idea on grouping the questions.
I already know that my surgery has to be a TAH,.. my suspects Adenomyosis, and my uteris is enlarged too much to consider going vaginally,.. he said it wouldn't be safe. My uteris is very high, and an abdominal incision will be much safer, he says. My stomach is huge,.. my uteris is enlarged to about a 3 month pregnancy size, and although that is nothing for alot of women who don't 'show' until mid-to late pregnancy,.. I always showed right away and ALOT due to the positioning of my uteris being so high it would just push out, and it was very obvious I was pregnant right away,.. and so, here I am again, only this time,.. not pregnant! I swear, the first person who asks me is going to get knocked unconscious! LOL
I'll be getting the famous 'bikini line' incision, and we are going to take out my ovaries, by my own choice. My ovaries are healthy, but hormonally, I am already really screwed up, and my maternal grandmother died of ovarian cancer,.. I'd just rather not leave anything lying around that has potential for causing me further grief down the road, and agreed that was a very good point. And, I'm already taking my synthroid hormone replacement every day for the rest of my life so it's not like I have to get used to taking a pill every day forever...... LOL The HRT I would begin taking after they remove my stitches from what I am told, but I'm still asking,.... still sorting out how I feel about it too, and may want to try other options first,... such as the soy route. I'm opting to have my cervix out too because, again, I don't want anything left behind that could cause potential problems down the road,.. I had my first abnormal pap last fall, and so I'm not planning on leaving it around to risk anything... I have too strong a family history of various female 'junk' so it's not worth hanging on to anything I don't have to, even if it is still currently healthy.
I already know how our hospital works, and so I know I will get to talk to the "A" man prior to surgery too,.. there are quite a few things I already know that I didn't need to add to my list of Q:s,....
Glad to hear about the St. John's Wart too, thanks, Karen!
I had my pre-op consult last Monday, with an exam, etc., and so we covered some stuff, and will go over everything else in full detail next Monday at my actual Pre-Op Appt.
Thanks, again, ladies,......... the : are stirring in my tummy more & more lately....... only 3 weeks more to go! I'm anxious though......... still waiting on the ins.,... I called yesterday, but they said they hadn't recieved anything yet. Doc's office had said they were going to call them a week ago, but they didn't. When I called them, then they explained to me that my doc had to dictate everything so they could prepare everything to best support my case before they submit it to the ins.,... they said yesterday, that hopefully they'd be ready by today or tomorrow to submit........... I'm in agony here. I'm just praying that the ins. won't throw me any curve balls on this... my DH has 2 days of leave scheduled for the day of and after my surgery, then a wek of vacation scheduled for after the weekend, so that he doesn't go back until the 12th day after my surgery, and then at that point, he will only work three days before he has a four day holiday weekend for the 4th of July.... I was so worried about not having enough help before, and now we realize that I'll actually have him here with me 'n the kids for 3 weeks, and so I'm terribly nervous that the ins. will mess it all up for us........ Please keep us in your prayers!!!!!
Unread 05-29-2002, 11:13 AM
My list of questions for the doc... (long)

"What about using Bean-O..."

If you have used Bean-O in the past, and have been OK with it, fine. If not, you might want to try it now, well before your surgery. I've only taken it once, and had a mild but distinct allergic reaction to it (swollen lips and face). It's made from mold, I believe, which isn't a bad thing in itself, but I'm allergic to a lot of molds. Their FAQ says that shouldn't matter ( but I reacted to it just the same. Nothing against Bean-O! I'm sure it's a fine product, *I* just can't take it.

In fact, in general, don't try new things right before/after surgery - stick with stuff you know works for you as much as possible.
Unread 05-29-2002, 11:29 AM
My list of questions for the doc... (long)

Your list looks really complete! Good for you. I found the better prepared I was, the easier everything went.

For what it's worth, here's my list, with a few of the answers I got, too:

Q: I've been taking my birth control pills right along. Now what?
Q: Refrain from eating & drinking?
Q: Be well hydrated? (A: Yes, up to beginning of "no food/drink" time.)
Q: Laxative? Bowel Prep? Enema? Douche?
What tests will be done beforehand? I'd like at least the following tests done:
Q: Blood count (?) - whatever would show anemia. (Blood type?) (A: CBC, no prob.)
Q: Thyroid function (A: Approved - added to list.)
Q: Hormone levels (A: Nope, useless in my case.)
Q: Anything else you recommend? (A: Chest x-ray, and EKG - see the lab.)
Q: I often can't breathe well through my nose. Will this be a problem for anesthesia? Should/may I take Sudafed beforehand?

During Surgery…
Q: How long will the procedure take? How many people are involved?
Q: Can I have a copy of the video, or still photos?

Q: Will you be doing it under a general, epidural, sedation, spinal block…?
Q: Who is the anesthesiologist? Do you work with him/her much?
Q: I haven't had trouble with nausea from anesthesia in the past, but should I take any sort of anti-nausea drug, just in case?
What will you do if you find…
Q: A little bit of endometriosis?
Q: A lot of endometriosis?
Q: Ovarian cysts?
Q: Other?
Q: What kind of scarring should I expect? Anything I can do to minimize scarring?
Q: I'm really nervous about developing adhesions from mucking around in there. Is there anything you can do to minimize that risk? (A: He, and an article I read yesterday, both said that the powder from latex gloves (cornstarch?) has been shown to promote the growth of adhesions.)
Q: (If Lap Hyst…) Any hints on avoiding shoulder pain afterward?

Q: How long do you guess I'll be in the hospital?
Q: How can I get ahold of you if I have any problems afterward?
Q: When/what can I eat afterward? (clear liquids?)
Q: Do I need to come in for a follow up exam? When?
Q: Will I need to be on hormones afterward?
Q: What can I expect afterward (pain, cramping, sloughing-off, mood swings, discharge, fever)?
Q: How long until I can return to light activities (walking, driving, sitting at desk)?
Q: How long until I can return to heavy activities (riding my horse, gardening, exercise, lifting)?
Q: About how long until I can have sex again?

Going Home…
Q: What should I bring/wear? (Lens case, loose-fitting clothes, something warm for the drive home?)

Also, if you have any pains or other interesting sensations going on, talk to you doctor about them. One sister mentioned chest pains (just a few days ago), got sent to the cardiologist, and found she'd had two heart attacks recently! Having a hyst is a rare opportunity to have someone actually *take a look* in your innards, so if you think anything might be a problem, mention it - your doc may be able to check it out "while they are in there". Couldn't hurt to ask.

The only thing I would add is to go over all the "what ifs". I wish I had done this with an earlier surgery. What if you find endo? What if my ovaries look funny? What if you find you can't do this or that? Discuss your options ahead of time, so you are both clear on what will happen in each case. A while back a sister posted about how the doctor got in there and found that everything looked perfectly fine, but he removed it anyway. She was upset about that. I could see that *either* leaving/removing things could be upsetting, if you didn't know what would happen beforehand. (Imagine if you went for a hyst, and woke up to "everything looked OK, so we left it in". Aaack! I've never heard of *that* happening, by the way.) Just get your options clear with your doc so there are no surprises.

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