What do you need to know before surgery?

The answer to that question will vary person to person, and it’s important to give it sme thought from your own perspective. Some people will tell very positive stories about surgery. Others – not many – will tell negative stories. For me, with all that I’ve read in the years before and after my own surgery, I believe that many of the women telling negative stories didn’t really understand what was happening, and that’s why I think this is the most important thing to do before surgery. So important I’m going to put it in bold:

BE COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR SURGERY

I know, you’d be most comfortable if you didn’t need surgery. I get it. But this isn’t about what you want, it’s about what you need, and if you’re reading this then you think you might need surgery.
Maybe right now nothing about surgery seems comfortable to you, and I get that too. It’s scary! It’s the unknown!
But here’s the thing. It doesn’t have to be *as* scary, and it doesn’t have to be *so* unknown.

 

In the old days, when you had to have surgery you went to a surgeon who specialised in whatever it was you needed. He told you what he needed to do, and when you should turn up at the hospital. On the day you turned up, you had the surgery, you recovered and you went home. If you wanted to know more there was a fair chance your surgeon wasn’t going to tell you even if you asked, and your best sources of info would have been a leaflet from the hospital or your local library.
Not any more! After all, you’re here reading this, aren’t you? *waves* 🙂
One of my favourite sayings is the following:

Knowledge dispels fear.

It applies to many different things, and I believe it’s really important when it comes to surgery. How much knowledge and what sort of knowledge will vary from person to person, but you need to get that knowledge so that you don’t feel so afraid, and so that you understand what will happen and can make the best choices for you.

Ask lots of questions, and dig for the answers.

Need more information on types of surgery? check these pages on this site, or check the resources for links to other websites for reliable information.
Need to hear some personal experiences? You can read my story and the stories of others on this site, or check out Facebook groups and forums – check the resources page for some links.
A visual person? Youtube has videos of all different kinds of hysterectomies. For me this is an example of more information than I needed and I’ve not watched any, but others have found it reassuring to see what will actually happen.
Ask your doctor/surgeon/anesthesiologist. They are there to help you, it is not embarrassing or troublesome for you to ask questions about what is going to happen. If you don’t understand their answer, tell them! If you are really anxious you may be able to arrange a visit to an operating room and hospital room to see where things will happen. The internet is a great source of info but I’d always recommend you ask your doctor or surgeon.

 

If you don’t know what will happen, you are far more likely to be afraid. And if you didn’t fully understand the choices you made and learn something after the surgery has already happened this could be difficult to process. You’re choosing to have this surgery, make it an informed choice and feel confident in the process 🙂