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 the surgery, get all the information you need to feel confident about it. 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. You may prefer general anesthesia, which makes you unconscious during surgery, but regional anesthesia — also called spinal or epidural block — may be an option. If you're having a vaginal hysterectomy, regional anesthesia will block the sensation in the lower half of your body.
  • Arrange for help. Although you're likely to recover sooner after a vaginal hysterectomy than after an abdominal one, it still takes time. Ask someone to help you out at home for the first week or so.
Dec. 11, 2012