Hysterectomy - Post Op & Pre Op

Pete Hueseman, R.Ph., P.D.-Compounding Specialist
My source for bioidentical hormones


I get a lot of requests for Pre Op and Post Op Hysterectomy advice.
I've put together some of the things I encountered, and some of the things
I thought might have been helpful to me had I known before my surgery.

Pre Op Hysterectomy Advice

Education about what to expect pre and post hysterectomy, is your best
friend right now. There are so many things you need to be aware of.

Researching and deciding on hormone replacement therapy, monitoring blood
pressure, bone density, and cholesterol, knowing what to expect and what
potential problems "MAY" (doesn't mean that they will!) arise.

Being prepared is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Some of what you read that women go through with or after hysterectomy can
be scary, it doesn't mean it will happen to you. Be proactive, know what
can happen, sometimes we have to fight for solutions about what may be
wrong and proposed solutions even with our own doctors.

While there are great doctors out there, FAR TOO MANY are of what can happen
to a woman's health and physiology after hysterectomy.

Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), with removal of ovaries and tubes,
(tah/bso for short) may remedy disease of the female organs, in and of itself,
hysterectomy can also bring about health challenges. I do not say that to
discourage anyone, except for life threatening cancer, no one can tell you
if a hysterectomy is right for you but you.

When I had my hysterectomy, I thought I would be rid of the endometriosis
(which I was), and just get on with a pain free life (which I did not).

SOME, and I say that very gingerly, some women do have health challenges
to deal with after wards, I am one such woman who has had to struggle for years
to feel better, ovarian removal and loss of ovarian hormones,
has the potential to affect a woman's life and health profoundly.

I developed fibromyalgia AFTER my tah/bso, I actually felt
really good for about 8 months post hysterectomy, then a lot of hormone
related loss health problems arose which you can
read about on my web site or in my Recovery Journals.

In retrospect, I would recommend any and every woman facing a hysterectomy
or tah/bso a few things:
*(even if one is having hysterectomy only, (removal of the uterus)
you should still be aware and pro active, "SOME" (spoken very gingerly again)
women are aware after just the removal of the uterus that their ovaries are
not working properly and they start experiencing "menopausal" type
symptoms, many women however also feel great after "hysterectomy/removal
of the uterus only" and never have many negative symptoms so PLEASE
don't be convinced that you will have negative health effects, just be aware
and attuned to your body and what is happening that way, "IF" you do begin
experiencing symptoms that are indicative of hormone loss, you can seek solutions
promptly, I believe I developed so many health problems because my body
was in a state of "very low hormone levels" for too long.

1. Research hormone replacement and what to expect pre and post
hysterectomy. Connecting with others who have been there, who are
knowledgeable about issues pre and post hyst is
a good start, there
is no better teacher than experience in my book.

A great place for support and resources on the net is, Sans-Uteri Hysterectomy
Forum, (link below) also the group I began at Yahoo Groups, HRT-NHRT,
(link to join below also.)

2. To demand "if necessary" baseline hormone level tests and bone
density testing. Both these test results will be invaluable as guides of
what your levels were pre hysterectomy and would provide a baseline to
work with. The reason I say demand is that to my knowledge doctors
do not seem to consider this and it is one thing I have fought to raise
awareness about since 1997. I didn't have bone density testing until
I started having severe joint, muscle and body pains, nine months post hyst,
the bone density tests showed considerable loss in my pelvic area and lower
lumbar area but who knows how much of this was there already as I had a
low back injury nine years before my hysterectomy and had used Depo Lupron
for treatment of endo, a known side effect of
Depo Lupron is loss of bone mineral density.

We need a starting point on both issues. My hormone levels when I finally
had them tested 22 months post tah/bso and six months into nhrt were way far
out of whack and once again, who knows that they weren't to begin with?
Who knows what was "normal" for my system? again,
no point of reference from which to begin!

3. Read and learn about hormone replacement, if you are having your
ovaries removed, you will need adequate, appropriate for your body, hormone
supplementation, if you are having only the uterus removed, you may still need
it eventually and its better to be prepared and knowledgeable about
your options, because many of our doctors are not.

It is such a struggle for women to find hormone supplementation that
is low side effect and effective, as we are all different.
The standard hrt's that doctors are prescribing often are unacceptable
to many women due to negative side effects and ineffectiveness in
relieving symptoms. Much, much more work and awareness needs brought
about on the issue of hrt, something many of us are working very hard on.

4. Discuss anesthesia if it has made you sick in the past. This is
something you'll surely want to avoid. The anesthesiologist
can work with you on this, dry heaves or vomiting after abdominal surgery
is not funny! it happened to me and unfortunately, I was not aware enough
about this potential complication to be proactive before surgery.

**If you're having a hysterectomy for Endometriosis

Please! make sure you have a good surgeon who is familiar with endo
in all it's presentations and is meticulous about removing any and
all found. This is very important! Endometriosis left within the pelvic
cavity can continue to cause pain and inflammation. Talk to your doctor
about hrt/ert after surgery. Estrogen should not be given to women who has
endometriosis, after a hysterectomy, it can keep any endo implants alive
and causing pain and scarring. There are studies and literature about this.
Please refer to my Endo pages and visit the Endometriosis Associations
website. (Link is on the Endo pages)

*One quick word of caution, if your sensitive to medications, the
morphine they gave me for pain made me very sick!!The night after my
surgery I was dry heaving all night, talk about awful with an extremely painful
abdomen! Talk to your doctor about what he will use for post op pain,
if these meds tend to make you nauseous, they can give
you something to counteract that or try a different medication.

*Hysterectomy is MAJOR surgery, you will need lots of rest afterward
the standard is at least 4 wks at a minimum to 6 wks recovery. Don't rush
your recovery! Don't base your recovery on how long it took someone else!
We are all different and recover at our own pace!

*Stock up on groceries and things you will need for the first few weeks.
You might, but I did not walk any further than
the edge of the sidewalk for two weeks.

*Think about and prepare where you will sleep, my abdomen was so sore
it was not comfortable for me to sleep in bed, I would try to roll over
in my sleep then wake up from the pain, I slept much better on the couch
where I was somewhat "confined" as to how much I could move around in my sleep.

*Driving-most doctors I have heard of recommend no driving for
two weeks. Why? They didn't go into "why" but a pamphlet I read
pre-hyst said its because your abdominal muscles may be weak and sore and
you might not have the strength in your legs to push
hard enough if you needed to brake suddenly.

Certainly makes sense!

*I got a bladder infection "from" being catheterized in the
hospital, I did not realize I had the infection until
I started noticing symptoms about one and a half to two weeks post op,
not everyone does but if you start developing symptoms (changes in
urination, pain with, etc.) be sure and report it to your doctor right away.

*Report anything to your doctor that seems abnormal or "not
right" to you, it's always better to err on the side of caution, although,
I don't believe there's such a thing when it comes to health concerns after
major surgery. If you feel sure something is amiss, don't let a busy doctor
brush you off, be persistent if need be, you and your health are worth it.

*Be sure and ask your doctor about guidelines on when it is
safe to resume what activities when, such as tub baths, driving,
sexual intercourse, going back to work, etc. I assumed after my
surgery the doctor would come in and give me clear
guidelines but that
did not happen as I was released on a Saturday. Better yet, go over
these things before you even go in for your surgery !

*Expect some discomfort when you come home with possible gas
pains, pain in trying to move bowels and/or constipation.
This is pretty common and can be very uncomfortable with an already
sore abdomen. Ask your doctor for help if this becomes a problem,
there is no need to suffer in pain! don't try and be so stoic like me!
it really hasn't served me all that well.

Post Surgery Advice

*Remember to take it easy, be good to yourself, rest, rest, rest,
listen to your body and give it what it needs, bubble baths when they're
ok'd by the doc are always good :o) don't forget a little candlelight
and a pillow! (yes! you should have candlelight bubble baths "just for you")
Don't worry about the things that don't get done, they can and will keep,
overdoing will lengthen your recovery time, even though you may look the
same, remember, there is still a LOT of healing going on, on the inside.

*Keep stress levels down and let others help you when and
where needed, this is not the time to be superwoman.

*You and your body will recover at what level is right
for you. Don't get anxious when you hear others tales of how fast they,
their neighbor, sister, etc. recovered, do things at
YOUR pace and what feels right for YOU :o)

Godspeed! and please email me if I can help.

The much anticipated and long awaited:


Misinformed Consent – Women’s Stories
about Unnecessary Hysterectomy by
Lise Cloutier Steele
Foreword by Stanley T. West, M.D., FACOG
and Author of The Hysterectomy Hoax

The U.S. Edition of Misinformed Consent, published by
Next Decade, Inc., is now available through amazon.com

To order a copy online, click on the book below:

My own hysterectomy story is proudly included in Misinformed Consent

The U.S. edition of Misinformed Consent will be released in
early 2003 by Next Decade, Inc. of New Jersey.
For more information, go to:


How You Can Help

Hysterectomy Newsletter

**Request copies of my FYI newsletter by email, subjects listed on the Newsletter page.

Hysterectomy *Connections*

Compounding Pharmacy Listings-U.S.

Compounding Pharmacy Listings-CANADA-OTHER

Monthly Interview Page

Monthly interview featuring a women's health related website and interview
with the site's owner or representative.

*December 2000-Pete Hueseman, R.Ph.,P.D. of College Pharmacy

*September 2000-Dr. Daniel Bivins and Hormonetesting.net

*July 2000-Dr. Joe Collins-Your Menopause Type.com

Research & Data Collection

Let your voice be heard!

Research & Data Responses

Hysterectomy, HRT & Endometriosis Resources

Recommended Reading

In Association with-© Amazon.com

Great books: Dr.John Lee, Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, Dr. Jonathan Wright, etc.

Natural Hormone Replacement

My Quest For Natural Hormone Replacement

HRT Resource

Hysterectomy-My Plea

Hysterectomy & Endometriosis Questionnaire

An opportunity to share your experience-let your voice be heard.

Hysterectomy Experiences

Positive Hysterectomy Experiences

My Endometriosis Story

Endometriosis Treatment Options

Endometriosis Experiences

Recovery Journals

On This Day....

July 17th, marks the anniversary of my Total Hysterectomy or TAH/BSO

Please visit my tribute: On This Day

This page first created July 03, 1999
Updated: 03/19/13

All writings herein upon all pages associated with Hysterectomy Awareness:

©1998-2014 Jeannah Haber. Copyright
and may not be duplicated else where without my express permission.



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