Hospital: What to expect
Pre-surgical routines for hysterectomy vary from hospital to hospital. Generally you will be offered a pre-operation assessment:
- Blood and urine samples are taken for transfusion preparation and pregnancy testing
- In the UK you will be tested for MRSA
- An enema may be given, although it is generally recommended to eat a light meal at the time recommended prior to surgery to aid recovery of bowel movement post recovery to keep the bowel soft
- The abdominal and pelvic areas may be shaved although this again varies from hospital to hospital and is not always the case
After the operation, the hospital stay varies depending on the type of hysterectomy and whether there are any complications.
Since hysterectomy is a major operation, discomfort and pain from the surgical incision are greatest during the first few days after surgery, but medication will be made available to reduce these symptoms, and expect to be given a saline drip in the back of your hand.
Your tummy will feel different. You should notice that you are no longer in the kind of pain you have long experienced. When you stand, support your scar with either a little pillow or your hand, everything will feel as though it's 'falling down' inside, but this is only everything adjusting inside and being accommodated into the new space.
By the second or third day, most patients are up walking and are expected to go to the toilet on their own, and can expect to see the surgeon. You will also be given pain relief, the hospital staff should give you any information you need and a nurse should discuss with you the correct way to move and when to resume your normal activities etc., before you are allowed to go home. (Remember to use a wheelchair to get to the car, since you will feel very unsteady and probably quite lightheaded!)