by Professor Lynn Basford
Key resources to help you, or someone you know, prepare for Hysterectomy.
Women are notorious for multi tasking, wearing many hats as they go about their everyday business. Families come first and this is why so often women neglect their own health to ensure all the needs of their families are met.
Unfortunately, when their health is compromised by a gynaecological situation and they are faced with the prospect of imminent surgery, they feel like headless chickens with eight limbs. Not a glamorous position to be in and neither a good coping strategy prior to surgery.
Whilst we recognise that every women has an individual situation there are some common factors that will help through the trauma of surgical intervention.
These common factors are firstly the need to prepare for surgery, secondly a need to have a good recovery plan and finally a long term plan to maintain health.
STAGE ONE: PREPARE< PREPARE< PREPARE
Stage one, preparing for hysterectomy, is crucial to provide you with the best possible outcome/recovery from surgery. It matters not whether you have days, weeks or months, it is never too late to start the process.
We have identified eight sections to help you prepare for hysterectomy, like the eight arms characterised in our cartoon. In the moment of crisis it may feel like you are flaying in the wind, panic stricken until you can take hold and systematically gain control in a mindful and focused manner.
In this way you develop what is known as positive coping mechanisms rather than those that are deemed negative and ultimately harmful to your health and wellbeing. See the table below for a quick overview.
Preparing for Hysterectomy checkpoints:
Develop a Positive Attitude
|Arm2: Exercise||Pelvic Floor Exercises; Regular Walks in Daylight/Sunshine, Yoga/Tai Chi Chi-gong, Gym, Swimming.|
|Arm3: Meditate||Visualisation Techniques, Laughter Meditation.|
|Arm4: Nutrition||Reduce Weight/Gain Weight, Eat Balanced Nutritional Food, prepare or stock food for your return; reduce roughage in diet at least 3 days prior to surgery or, as instructed by your consultant.|
|Arm5: Medicines & Supplements||Stop taking oral contraceptives, consult doctor if you are taking steroids for any other medical complaint, if suffering from hypothyroidism and take medication, discuss with GP re: having up to date blood examination, if you are taking alternative medicines or nutritional supplements make sure your doctors and health care team are aware of them, You may be prescribed a laxative /colon cleanse prior to surgery.|
|Arm6: Lifestyle||If you smoke, stop smoking, if you drink alcohol in large measures consider abstaining or cutting down, if you take recreational drugs, stop taking them or at least reduce. Consult with your Doctor or Health Care Professional for help and advice regarding any risky behaviours.|
|Arm7: Personal & Family Arrangements||Make arrangements for time off work, child care. Include partner in your PRAM activities – remember they may also be scared re future.|
|Arm8: Personal Hygiene||Observing hygiene procedures to prevent cross contamination and not using highly perfumed solutions.Learn to empty your bladder properly.|
Table of Contents
We’ll look at each arm in depth in separate articles. As the articles appear the links to each will highlight here.
Recovering from Hysterectomy
If you need to talk with others who have experienced a hysterectomy then there is no better place than hystersisters.com, a forum with literally thousands of threads where ladies get together to discuss all their concerns and share their experiences