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Post Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy : What to Expect Before, During and After

What is the most common reason for a hysterectomy? Would you believe that it is uterine fibroids? Uterine fibroids, not cancer, are the most common reason women undergo a hysterectomy.

A hysterectomy is the only solution to deal with fibroids. Although it's a common procedure, it's important to remember that it is a major surgery. You will not be able to work for week afterwards, and someone will need to be with you for a few weeks after the surgery.

What is a hysterectomy? It's a procedure involving the partial or total removal of your female reproductive organs, meaning you will be unable to have any more children.

You need to know that you are liable to stay in the hospital up to a week after the initial surgery. Your recovery time will be anywhere from six to eight weeks.

So how do you need to prepare for your hysterectomy procedure? Here are some tips that will help you to prepare before the surgery and afterwards too.

Before Your Surgery

Tip 1 – Don't Eat For At Least Eight (8) Hours Before Your Hysterectomy

It's very important that you keep your stomach empty for at least eight hours before you surgery is supposed to start.

Tip 2 – Taking Prescriptions? Get Your Doctor's Okay

Are you worried about the medications you are taking? Should you continue taking them before you surgery? If you are concerned, speak with your doctor and let him/her advise you what you should do.

Tip 3 – Keep Valuables At Home

Never bring your wedding ring or other valuables to the hospital with you. Anything can happen to it including getting lost or stolen.

Tip 4 – Like Fingernail Polish? Remove it

It's quite important that fingernail polish is removed before you go to have your surgery so remove it the night before the surgery.

At The Hospital

Once you have arrived at the hospital, staff members will greet you and will help you to get ready for the procedure. You'll be asked to remove the following items from your person:

  • Contact lens/eyeglasses
  • Dentures
  • Hair ornaments/ hairpins

Chances are you'll be given an enema and be asked to douche.

You'll change out of your clothing into the hospital gown and cap. You will also need to wear special stockings that will keep blood clots from forming in your legs.

Depending on your surgery preference, a nurse will shave your genital and/or abdomen areas. You'll also be given a dose of pain medication right before surgery.

What Happens During Surgery

What can you expect during the surgery? First, the surgical staff will attach tape strips on your chest and arms. These strips are connected to wires, which will monitor your vitals. The pulse oximeter will be placed on your finger so that the oxygen levels in your blood will be monitored as well.

Second, your surgical nurse will insert a needle by way of a tube right into your vein. This needle will provide you with fluids, antibiotics, pain medications, etc. You'll have a catheter stuck through your urethra so that your bladder will stay empty.

You'll also receive drugs that will make you go to sleep so that the surgery can commence. These anesthesia drugs will be given to you through an IV or the mask.

The ventilator will make sure that you get enough oxygen during the surgery. Ventilators have a tube that will go through your mouth and down the windpipe.

After The Surgery

Once your surgery is over, you'll be in the recovery room so that the staff can monitor how you are doing. Once the anesthesia effects have faded, you'll be returned to your regular hospital room for the next few days of observation.

You'll be given pain and anti-inflammatory medications for the next few days. Some hospitals will have a device that gives you a dose of medication; others will have nurses to do this for you. You'll be asked on a scale of one to 10 to rate how much pain you have.

The day after surgery, you'll start to receive oral medications but still have IV fluids until you can drink. Solid foods are not recommended right away. Your doctor will also request that you begin walking as soon as you can to speed along your recovery and avoid post surgical complications.

As You Go Home

Once released from the hospital, your doctor will give you several instructions. It's important to follow them completely. What kinds of instructions will you get?

  • First, you'll be given a prescription for oral medications for your pain.
  • Second, you'll be given incision care instructions.
  • Third, you'll be given daily activities and diet restrictions.
  • Fourth, you'll be told to avoid sex for up to six weeks to let any incision to heal.
  • Fifth, you'll be asked to use pads instead of tampons for the after surgery bleeding and discharge that can occur.



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