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What should I expect before a hysterectomy?

Here’s what you can expect before a hysterectomy:

• You’ll have blood and urine tests.
• You’ll be asked to fast (not eat anything) from midnight until your surgery the next day.
• Hair on your pubic area and abdomen may be clipped to help keep the incision sites sterile.
• To prevent infection, you’ll be given antibiotics.
• A nurse will place an IV -- a small tube put through a needle into a vein -- in your arm or wrist to deliver fluids, medication, or blood as needed.
• You’ll be attached to monitors and given anesthesia. Depending on your preference and on how your surgery will be done, you may have general anesthesia (which puts you completely asleep during the surgery) or a regional anesthesia (which blocks the feeling in the lower part of your body).
• A catheter -- a thin tube -- will be placed in your bladder. The catheter drains urine from your bladder during the surgery.
Before your hysterectomy the doctor will do a complete physical exam to make sure that you are a good surgical candidate. You will also be counselled regarding your recovery period and how much time you will need off from work following the sugery. The surgeon will counsel you regarding all of the potential risks and benefits of the surgery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.