Medically Reviewed by Monica Ploetzke, MD
Millions of women face Gynecological surgery every year. To increase the likelihood of success and decrease the chance of complications, each patient needs to consider certain emotional and physical preparations.
“There’s a certain amount of stress involved when a woman and her body is facing a procedure, even if the results will improve her lifestyle,” says McLeod Gynecologist Monica Ploetzke, MD. “Your personal Gynecologist may have some specific recommendations for you and will likely discuss pain management, but here are some general thoughts to help you prepare.”
MENTAL & EMOTIONAL PREP
- If they haven’t already, have your GYN explain the procedure and how it’s done. An increasing number of procedures require on an overnight stay in the hospital and some might even be performed in your GYN’s office. An increasing number of surgeries are performed with a few small scars (minimally invasive) and some are performed with the surgeon robotically assisted for more complex movements, less pain and faster recovery.
- Find out about the type of general or local anesthesia that is used and what, if any, after effects you can expect.
- You may have questions about how the procedure will exhaust you and for how long during your recovery.
- Don’t hesitate to ask your GYN how the surgery will affect your intimacy.
- Relaxation techniques or deep breathing can help you prepare emotionally for the surgery.
- Surgery can strain your lungs. Try to stop smoking and exercise – even if only walking – to build your energy.
- If you have diabetes, discuss with your GYN how to manage this during and after your procedure.
- Before the surgery, some lab, urine or blood tests may be necessary, as well as imaging tests (X-ray, CT). Be prepared to make time for them in your schedule.
- The day of surgery, you will be asked to remove any jewelry. Leaving most or all of it at home will give you less to worry about.
- If the procedure limits your flexibility for a while, you may want to arrange the furniture at home to ease your movement about the house.
- Your GYN may recommend that you bring someone with you on the day of the procedure and also may want to have a relative or friend someone look after you at home for several days.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
If you have any questions or want information on your procedure, ask your Gynecologist.
Find a Gynecologist near you.
Sources include: McLeod Health, National Institutes of Health, Georgetown University School of Medicine, American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists