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After Hysterectomy: Questions You Should Ask

Questions About Recovery and Life After Hysterectomy Surgery

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Updated June 05, 2010

After Hysterectomy

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

Photo © A.D.A.M.
If you are having a hysterectomy, it is important that you have reasonable expectations about what the surgery will do for you. These questions should help you determine if the procedure will give you the results you are looking for and the side effects you can expect.

In some cases, a hysterectomy may cure the condition making the surgery necessary. In other cases, a hysterectomy may only minimize symptoms or provide temporary relief. The following questions will help make sure you understand what type of outcome you can realistically expect after surgery.

Finding out as much as possible about a "normal" recovery after the procedure you choose will help you plan for any assistance you may need in the weeks following surgery. It is also important to find out what type of follow up medical care you will require after your recovery. Some women will not require a yearly pap smear after surgery, other women will. It is important to know if you will continue to need this important test, which can detect precancerous and cancerous cells.

Questions About Life After Hysterectomy Surgery

What are the chances my symptoms could reoccur after surgery?

What are the chances that cancer has spread beyond my cervix/uterus/ovaries and will require further surgery?

Will my condition continue to get worse without surgery, or will it be more likely to continue as it currently is?

Do you recommend hormone replacement therapy once the surgery is complete?

Will I continue to need regular pap smears after a hysterectomy?

How long after surgery will treatment be delayed for my cancer while I heal from this procedure?

When will it be safe to have sex after surgery?

When will I be able to take a bath or swim after surgery?

Sources:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Elective and risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy. Washington, DC: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG); January 2008.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Endometriosis. American Family Physician. Accessed on January 31, 2009 http://www.aafp.org/afp/991015ap/1753.html

Hysterectomies. National Institutes of Health http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002915.htm

Incidence of symptom reoccurance after hysterectomy for endometriosis. Fertility and Sterility Journal. November 1995. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7589631

Spotting, despite hysterectomy, never considered “normal”. Dr. Peter Gott. The Daily Herald. Accessed January 28, 2009 https://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=184007

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