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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Laparoscopic hysterectomy (LH) is surgery to remove your uterus only (partial hysterectomy), or your uterus and cervix (total hysterectomy). Other organs, such as your ovaries and fallopian tubes, may also be removed.
HOW TO PREPARE:
The week before your surgery:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- You may need to donate blood before your surgery. Your blood is stored in case you need it during or after your surgery.
- You may need to have tests done before the surgery, such as blood tests and a chest x-ray. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.
The night before your surgery:
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
- Bowel cleansing may be needed. You may be given medicine to drink or an enema that will empty your bowel. An enema is liquid put into your rectum.
The day of your surgery:
- Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN:
What will happen:
One or more small incisions will be made in your abdomen. Your surgeon will put a laparoscope and other tools into your abdomen through the incisions. The laparoscope is a long metal tube with a light and camera on the end. Your abdomen will be filled with a gas called carbon dioxide. This allows your surgeon to see inside your abdomen. Your uterus will be cut free from your abdomen so it can be removed. Your cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and lymph nodes may also be removed. These structures will be removed through the incisions in your abdomen or through your vagina. The incisions will be closed with stitches.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.
CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:
- You cannot make it to your surgery.
- You have a fever.
- You get a cold or the flu.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery.
Seek Care Immediately if
- Your symptoms get worse.
- You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may have damage to your bladder, ureters, or bowels. The surgeon may need to make larger incisions in your abdomen than expected. You may get a blood clot in your leg. This may become life-threatening. After this surgery, you will not be able to become pregnant. You will go through menopause if your ovaries are removed.
- You may have vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, or problems urinating for a time after surgery. You may get scar tissue in your abdomen that blocks your intestine or causes pelvic pain. If you had a partial hysterectomy, you will need to have regular Pap tests to check for cancer cells in your cervix. If you have cancer, this surgery may not take it away completely, or the cancer may return. If you do not have the hysterectomy, your signs and symptoms could get worse.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.