Before going ahead with hysterectomy, there are certain questions you need to ask. If in doubt, consider getting a second opinion.
Make sure you fully understand the surgery; don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s imperative your doctor explains the common risks and benefits, as well as those particular to your circumstances. Knowing all the relevant information is part of informed clinical consent.
Questions for your doctor
- Are there alternatives to this surgery?
- What type of hysterectomy do you recommend?
- Which organs will be removed?
- What type of surgical technique do you recommend, open, vaginal, keyhole or robotic (and why)?
- How will the surgery affect my fertility?
- Is this surgery really needed at this time or can it wait?
- What are the likely consequences if I delay it?
- What are the likely out-of-pocket medical expenses? (Your doctor should be able to give you a breakdown of any costs you’ll incur – this is known as ‘Informed Financial Consent’).
Abdominal hysterectomy | Vaginal hysterectomy | Laparoscopic hysterectomy
- Will there be an additional fee for an assistant surgeon?
- How should I prepare for my surgery?
- Will there be an additional fee for the anaesthetist? If so, what will it be?
- Can I meet with my anaesthetist before surgery?
- What happens during and after the surgery?
- How long is my hospital stay likely to be?
Your gynaecologist’s skills
- How many surgeries of this type do you perform each year?
- What percentage of your patients with my condition are satisfied with the results of the hysterectomies you perform?
- What’s your complication rate for this surgery?
- How soon can I drive, go back to work or travel?
- Are there restrictions on what activities I can do, such as showering, swimming, lifting, bending or having sex?
- Will I need radiotherapy or chemotherapy (if your surgery is for cancer)?
- Will I need hormone replacement therapy (if your ovaries are removed)?
- Follow-up appointments (Write down any questions or concerns you want to discuss with your gynaecologist).
Tell your doctor if you have any skin lesions, sores, cuts, or a raised temperature, as they’ll need to be treated before your surgery.
Most medication should be taken as usual, but some may interfere with your surgery. Your doctor will let you know which medication (if any) you should stop, and when to stop taking it. Don’t forget to mention any complementary or herbal remedies you’re taking, as these can have interactions and side effects too.
Learn more about choosing a specialist
Print out this page to take to your appointment with your gynaecologist