Pre - Op Hysterectomy - Coping With Pre-Op Anxiety and Fear


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"I'm really frightened about my upcoming hysterectomy. I'm anxious and have butterflies in my stomach all the time. What is wrong with me?"

Fear is a natural emotion that is hard-wired into human beings. Having any surgery can be a scary proposition, so it stands to reason that you would feel nervous about having a hysterectomy. You are not strange, weak or unusual if you are afraid to go to a hospital for the purpose of having your body cut open to remove organs. If you are experiencing pre-op anxiety, you are 100% normal.

There is no sure-fire remedy for eliminating pre-op jitters and sizzling nerves. But we do have ideas for managing the “waiting time” in a number of different ways…. ideas shared with us by members of the Hyster Sisters community: Clean your house from top to bottom…that is to say, really clean it! Prepare “meals for the freezer” for re-heating and consumption in your early post-op weeks. Set up your recovery room and make it as comfy and convenience-filled as possible. Socialize with family and friends. Go out and physically “do” things like walking, boating, bowling, dancing, etc. Physical activity can help to relieve stress and promote a good night’s sleep. It is comforting for some women to pray, attend worship services, and request prayers from members of their congregation. And, although it can seem morbid to some, quite a few Hyster Sisters have relieved a bit of their anxiety by writing letters to their children and others loved ones, to be opened “just in case. ”

It’s natural for hysterectomy patients who are mothers to try to “protect” their children (even if they are adults) from developing their own fear and anxiety about Mom going to the hospital to have an operation, so consequently they may conceal their emotions from their children. Other women don’t feel comfortable sharing their fears with their spouse, siblings, or anyone. They don’t want to worry or burden anyone, so they downplay everything. This concern is very understandable, but it would be much more emotionally healthy to share your fears with even just one “confidante. ” Don’t keep it all bottled in. You need to talk about it openly with someone…even if it is just one person.

If you are suffering terribly from pre-op anxiety, and can’t seem to calm down from trying the remedies we suggest, do talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing. It won’t be the first time your doctor has heard about this from patients facing surgery! Perhaps you can be prescribed a light sedative to take “as needed” until your journey to the Castle. Don’t suffer needlessly. You need to be well-rested and as emotionally-fit as possible when you embark on your journey to good health.

Kathy Kelley is the owner of

an online community for hysterectomy support issues and on the web since 1998. With over 80,000 members, is the best place on the internet for hysterectomy support,
resources, and information. Hysterectomy Support - HysterSisters


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