Finding out or making the decision to have a hysterectomy can be overwhelming for many women. Not only is a hysterectomy a surgical procedure that will require anesthesia and recovery time, some women feel that losing their uterus is losing a part of who they are. To make the surgery easier, doctors suggest taking some time to prepare, both physically and emotionally.
Dr. Taryll Jenkins of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive medicine has been helping patients manage their health in the Katy, TX, area for many years. He suggests the following tips to patients who are considering or planning for a hysterectomy:
- Understand the procedure. There are several types of hysterectomy procedures. In some cases all of a woman's reproductive organs will be removed, in others the uterus is removed but the cervix and fallopian tubes stay. Additionally, some surgeries can be done laparoscopically while others will require an incision. Understanding which type of surgery you need can help to calm some of your fears and give you a better sense of understanding.
- Ask plenty of questions. With hysterectomies, and any surgery, there are often plenty of misconceptions. Some women have heard that their sex life will suffer or that they will need to take hormones to feel feminine. With Dr. Jenkins there are no silly questions. Raise your concerns and find out if they are factual or false. In these cases it's best to ask question directly to your physician or medical team so they can understand your fears and help you overcome them.
- Make plans for your downtime. For some women having to be off their feet for several days or several weeks recovering can be intimidating. Not only do women have plenty to take care of at home and at work, many shudder at the thought of not being able to be active in the days following the surgery. Stock up on books, movies, or plan for long calls with family and friends to help the time pass. Further, make plans for someone to help you care for children, walk the dog, and make your meals. Having a plan in place will help to decrease some of the stress and uncertainty.
- Prepare physically. Stop smoking and drinking a lot of alcohol, improve your diet, ask your doctor if there are medications you should be taking or should avoid, and exercise. These activities will help ensure that your body is as prepared for the surgery as you are.
If you have more questions about how to get ready for your hysterectomy, call the Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine office today.
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