How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

It's normal to feel anxious about having a hysterectomy. Here's what you can do to prepare:

  • Gather information. Before surgery, get all the information you need to feel confident about your decision to have a hysterectomy. Ask your doctor and surgeon questions. Learn about the procedure, including all the steps involved if it makes you feel more comfortable.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions about medication. Find out whether you should change your usual medication routine in the days leading up to your hysterectomy. Be sure to tell your doctor about any over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements or herbal preparations that you're taking.
  • Discuss what type of anesthesia you'll have. Abdominal hysterectomy requires you to have general anesthesia, which makes you unconscious during surgery.
  • Plan for a hospital stay. How long you'll be in the hospital depends on what type of hysterectomy you have and what your doctor recommends. Generally, abdominal hysterectomy requires a hospital stay of at least one to two days.
  • Arrange for help. Full recovery could take several weeks. Your doctor may recommend restricting your activities during your recovery, such as avoiding driving or lifting heavy objects. Arrange for help at home if you think you'll need it.
Dec. 11, 2012