Preparing for Surgery
Preparing for a major surgery such as a hysterectomy may feel overwhelming but your surgeon can help guide you through the process. We have put together this guide to help make it easier as well.
Prior to your surgery:
- Take all your medications as prescribed by your physician unless told otherwise.
- If you smoke, quitting at least 6 weeks prior to your surgery decreases the risk of surgical complications and helps improve healing.
- Ensure that you will have help at home for daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning. You will be limited to lifting no more than 10 pounds for at least 6 weeks after your surgery.
- Be sure to bring any required paperwork from your employer well in advance of your surgery to the office.
- Be sure to discuss all medical conditions you have been diagnosed with, all medications (including over the counter) you take and any surgical procedures you have had with your surgeon during your visits.
The day before/day of your surgery:
- On the day before and day of your surgery you will need to wash your entire abdomen with Hibiclens (Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution W/V 4.0%)
- Hibiclens (Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution W/V 4.0%) is an antibacterial and antimicrobial skin cleanser that will decrease your risk of postoperative skin infections
- Hibiclens (Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution W/V 4.0%) can be purchased at any pharmacy
- Anyone of the pharmacy staff will be able to help you find this
- Please arrive at the hospital 2 hours before your scheduled surgery time. This is very important so that all preoperative tasks can be completed and your surgery can start on time.
- It is very important that you do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. If you have anything in your stomach, your surgery will be delayed and may be canceled.
After your surgery:
- You will likely be discharged home several hours after your surgery.
- You will be sent home with pain medication, typically Ibuprofen and Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen) unless you have an allergy.
- You will also be sent home with Colace (docusate) which is a stool softener. It is important to take the stool softener while taking the Percocet to help prevent constipation.
- Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk (10 pounds) for at least 6 weeks after your surgery.
- Do not engage in any strenuous physical activity including exercise, housework, etc. until cleared by your doctor.
- You may go up and down stairs but be sure to hold on to all railings.
- Please refrain from soaking in any water during your recovery period including pools, baths, oceans, etc.
- You can shower and rinse your incisions with warm water and a mild soap. Do not scrub your incision
- Keep your incisions clean and dry at all times.
- Do not insert anything into your vagina until cleared by your doctor, this includes tampons and intercourse.
- You will be given follow up instructions prior to discharge. Typically you are seen 2 weeks and 6 weeks after your surgery.
When to call your doctor:
If you experience any heavy vaginal bleeding, fevers, chills, foul smelling discharge, severe pain that is not improved with the prescribed medication or anything else that concerns you, please call your surgeon right away.