Your surgery will be a major one. Whether it’s a full hysterectomy or removal of fallopian tubes (salpingo) and/or ovaries (oophorectomy). Nervousness is a natural emotion leading up to such a life changing surgery. It is in your best interest to be as prepared as possible.
What to know before surgery day:
When your surgery was booked you should have been given pre-op instructions. These forms will instruct you on where to go the day of your surgery and what time to arrive. They tell you when to stop eating the night before. And what medications are okay to continue taking. The surgical facility may also want you to bathe with an antibacterial soap the night before; and give you a special drink to prepare your stomach for surgery. Make sure you know what organs the doctor is planning to remove from your body. And ask this question multiple times on surgery day. This needs to be clear and you need to feel comfortable with the doctor’s plan of action.
How to prepare your home:
You will not be able to do very much when you get home. So take some time to make sure you are in a comfortable and clean environment. You will be fatigued and sore and won’t be able to do much when you get home. Be sure to clean your bathrooms, living room, and bedroom ahead of time. Make sure to have clean sheets, extra pillows, clean towels, a water bottle, and lots of entertainment ready for your recovery. A TV tray by your bed will also be handy. Be sure to prepare a drawer of loose and comfortable fitting clothes and underwear. Keep your clothing somewhere you can reach it without too much bending. Have your house stocked with groceries and healthy snacks. Your bladder can leak from catheter irritation or small amounts of blood from surgery so maxi pads/panty liners are a must.
Be sure to have your pharmacy’s address and phone number on hand, so your pain meds can be sent to the correct place quickly once you are discharged. A small notepad and pen by your bed will be useful in keeping track your pain med schedule. You will be groggy, get into the habit of jotting down the time meds are taken and when to take next dose.
What to know before you go:
Will I be allowed HRT, and when? (Some physicians enforce a waiting period post surgery before prescribing hormone treatment)
Who do I call if I develop a fever over 100.4?
How can I contact the nurses station or my doctor?
When can I take a shower at home?
When can I drive?
When can I be intimate with my significant other again?
What to expect after check in:
The hospital should give you everything you need. But you can bring along reading materials, your electronics, and toiletries for a 1-3 day stay. After surgery you will be expected to walk, extra socks and slip-on slippers are a great idea for this. Comfy clothes to go home in are essential. Women with minimally invasive procedures go home sooner and experience a faster recovery. Women with a larger surgical scar tend to stay a couple of more days and have a longer recovery.