If you have an impending hysterectomy, you may be concerned about the after care. The best way to be prepared post-operatively is to have everything ready in order to make your recovery go by smoothly.
Be Prepared For Post-Operative Needs
In the weeks leading up to your hysterectomy or on the day of surgery, ask if you doctor can give you any necessary post-op prescriptions so you can have them ready. If you cannot receive your prescription until the day of surgery, try to plan for a friend or family member to drop-off your prescriptions so they are ready before you leave the hospital. Due to theft and concerns of prescription drug abuse, your pharmacy may only stock limited quantities of narcotic pain medication. You want to have ample time for your pharmacy to order any necessary pain medications or find a different pharmacy before you need your medication.
After your surgery, you may experience bleeding or other discharge until you heal. You will want to purchase sanitary napkins that are designed for overnight use to give you the most coverage. If you are accustomed to using tampons, you will have to switch to pads to reduce your risk of infection.
Have Comfortable Clothes
When you can wear your own clothing after surgery and in the weeks after surgery, you will want to be as comfortable as possible. If you do not own any pants, such as leggings or pajama bottoms, you may want to purchase them or wear nightgowns. Consider wearing pants with significant stretch or a size larger than normal, because you will be more comfortable if the waistband fits high on your abdomen to avoid irritating any abdominal incisions.
Similarly, you will want underwear that is roomy and comfortable. Stick with cotton briefs, which are easy to care for and have breathable material. You may experience abdominal swelling after surgery and having larger clothing can help you accommodate any temporary changes in your clothing size.
If you have a complete hysterectomy, you can expect to experience an early menopause. Before your surgery, discuss with your doctor (like those at South Ave Women's Services) any medications that will be used to help combat menopausal symptoms. Your doctor may give you a hormone patch to lessen hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms due to hormonal change.
At home, you should be prepared for hot flashes. Consider purchasing jersey knit bedding, which is comfortable and moisture-absorbent. Keep a personal fan nearby to lessen discomfort, especially if your surgery will be in the cooler months. If you have other people living in your home, a personal fan is a good way to keep you cooler without turning down the heat inside your home. Keep plenty of cool drinks and popsicles on-hand to quickly cool your body down.
Although every experience is different, the days and weeks following a hysterectomy can be difficult as you adapt to changes in your body. Being prepared for your hysterectomy can make the experience easier and help you on the road to healing.