Questions about hysterectomy

When considering a hysterectomy, ask your health professional:

  • What other treatments are available? Will they cure your problem or do they only relieve the symptoms?
  • How long can you wait before treating the problem? Will it get worse without treatment?
  • What are the risks and benefits of each treatment?
  • Are there any materials, such as videos or pamphlets, available that can help you make a decision about whether to have a hysterectomy?

If you are told you need a hysterectomy, ask:

  • What type of hysterectomy is usually done for the problem you have?
  • Do you need to have your ovaries removed?
  • How long will the surgery take? Will you be asleep during surgery? How will your pain be treated after surgery? When will you be able to get out of bed, go home, return to your usual activities, resume sex?
  • What are the side effects, complications, and risks of the surgery?
  • Are there any pamphlets you can read that explain the procedure? Can you talk with other women who have had this surgery?

The hospital or surgery center may send you instructions on how to get ready for your surgery or a nurse may call you with instructions before your surgery.

Right after surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area where nurses will care for and observe you. Usually you will stay in the recovery area for 1 to 4 hours, and then you will be moved to a hospital room. In addition to any special instructions from your doctor, your nurse will explain information to help you in your recovery.

Last Updated: August 12, 2008

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