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What Should I do Before a Hysterectomy?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are several things you may wish to do before a hysterectomy to prepare both your home and your body. Follow any instructions given by your doctor on what will need to be done prior to surgery. You should also clean your house in advance, freeze meals so you won't have to cook, and enlist the help of family and friends to give you a hand after you are back home and recovering. It may also be helpful to find others in your area or online who are having the same procedure done so you can discuss your feelings about the operation and the reasons you may be having it done.

From a medical standpoint, there are several things you doctor may have you do before a hysterectomy. First, you will probably be asked not to eat or drink for several hours before your operation. This could be long as 24 hours, so be sure to ask. You may also be asked to perform an enema or another procedure used to clear your colon of waste materials prior to the surgery. Aside from these things, the main thing to remember is to show up to the hospital on time so that any additional prepping can take place.

You should also set up your household and prepare family members before a hysterectomy to ensure that things runs as smoothly as possible while you recover. It could be between four and six weeks before you will feel up to returning to some of your normal daily activities, so be sure to clean your home thoroughly before the operation and to enlist the help of others to clean afterward. Freeze meals in advance so that you have healthy dinners that can be thrown in the oven quickly or heated in the microwave.

If you do not have friends or family members nearby, you may wish to speak with local house cleaners and nurses in the area before you have your surgery. Find out what their going rates are and consider hiring the help so you don't have to do everything on your own. Day nurses may be able to pop in occasionally during the first few weeks to lend a hand, or stay with you all day while you rest.

Having any items you will need on hand is also important to do before a hysterectomy. You will want to have plenty of comfortable, loose fitting, clothing for your first weeks home so there is no pressure being placed on the incision. Other things you may need include feminine pads for post-surgery bleeding, loose fitting underwear, and comfortable pajamas. Dresses and gowns are also handy. If you will be required to care for your incision at home, it may also be beneficial to have gauze, bandaging, and antiseptic on hand.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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