Hysterectomy and anesthesia


Hi I am having a hysterectomy next month and am wondering what is used for anesthesia?Im so terrified of going under. Does anyone have any imput on this procedure? pain, recovery etc. Thanks

MamaTheNurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, OB, Ortho, ICU, Diabetes, QA/PI. 304 Posts

I had a general and did fine but I also do not have problems with anesthesia and no family history of such either...........

amount of pain, length of recovery and all other factors depends on how you are having the hyster (abdominal vs vaginal) and why you are having it (fibroids, hemorrhaging during your period, prolapse, etc.) - I had a vag hyster because of uterine prolapse and was up and around the next day after they took the packing out.............

are you having anything else done at the same time such as a bladder suspension or repair of a rectocele? having concurrent surgery will add more time, pain, recovery to your procedure - I also had a rectocele repair (also called a posterior repair) and it was more extensive than what was thought - it added time to the surgery therefore it added time to how long I was out - it also hurt waaayyyy more than the hysterectomy post-operatively..........

whatever your reasons and method, I wish you luck (and don't let anyone tell you that sex won't be as good afterwards - that's not true.....:coollook: :coollook: :coollook: :coollook: :coollook: :coollook: )


29 Posts

thanks for the quick response! I am having it (uterus only removed) done with lap assistance due to fibroids causing my uterus to look 3 months pregnant.As far as I know thats the only thing to be done. Another thing Im worried about is having a catheter... ugh! Do you bleed awhile after the sx? thanks again

MamaTheNurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, OB, Ortho, ICU, Diabetes, QA/PI. 304 Posts

I peed spontaneously a few hours after my foley was removed the morning after surgery - pooping was much more difficult and you sure can't/don't want to strain afterwards so make sure you take stool softeners pre-op - ask your doc exactly how many days - my surgeon told me a week of just OTC docusate sodium (Colace) - I did that and still cried the first time but that was because of my posterior repair................:cry: :cry:

as for bleeding, I was a good girl and waited the six weeks like I was told and had no problems at all...... :clown: :clown:

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 30 years experience. 163 Articles; 21,071 Posts

Some of these answers can be obtained from your doctor also.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience. 4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Are you able to pinpoint just what it is about the anesthesia that is terrifying you? I've had 8 surgeries and 6 epidurals for my back pain over the years. I can tell you that anesthesia has come a long way from 30 years ago. I had no nausea or other major complications following my last surgeries. In fact, I was given a newer anesthestic agent called Diprovan for my epidurals. It is short acting and as long as it is infusing you are out. When it is stopped you wake up. Wonderful stuff--no side effects. I was on my feet, had breakfast, and out the door within an hour of coming out of the procedure room.

I had a hysterectomy 15 years ago and was worried because I had heard about how painful the recovery was. Well, I'm here to tell you that mine wasn't. I hardly had any pain. I was on PCA for a day and a half and then Vicodin. Within a week I was really feeling comfortable and didn't need anything for pain. Compared to the thyroidectomies I had where I had pain for up to 4 months after the surgeries, the hysterectomy was a piece of cake. I was sad to see the catheter go because I had to finally get up and go to the bathroom. It was so nice to just lie in bed and not worry about having to get up to pee. I had some vaginal drainage for just a couple of days--it was very slight.

A long time ago I decided that if something went wrong and I died on the operating table it was one of the better ways to go. You're asleep and would never know what was going on anyway. All that happened was that I felt a kind of warm feeling all over as I was given whatever medication it was to put me to sleep and the next thing I remember was someone calling my name and telling me to open my eyes. You could ask the nurses over in the Surgery Forum, but I think that Fentanyl and Versed are used a lot. Contrary to what is on the TV and in the movies, I had no dreams or near death experiences where you meet spirits while you are under. I've been a nurse for 30 years and never had a patient that had any of these either.


2,327 Posts

Hi I am having a hysterectomy next month and am wondering what is used for anesthesia?Im so terrified of going under. Does anyone have any imput on this procedure? pain, recovery etc. Thanks

I had a hysterectomy in April 2004. It was onel of several surgeries whicch I had pretty much back to back. I had General anesthesia. Everything went well except my digestive system didn't want to wake up properly and I ended up with a catheter for 2 weeks :crying2: recovery depends on what kind of surgery you have, vaginally or through your abdominal wall. Afterwards make sure you get that metamucil gulped down or you'll end up stopped up!!!!! That wasn't fun to deal with:uhoh21: .

The going under is so quick once they give you those drugs you wont' know it happening and the waking up was very pleasant. I had a wonderful nurse in the PACU a very, very nice guy nurse....on the ward later on was a whole other story :o Good luck and you might want to discuss digestive problems prior with your doc,I wished I had.


29 Posts

thanks, I guess Im worried that I wont wake up. What is Pca? Is that where they give you morphine? I have heard horror stories about that stuff and man is that scary, thanks again, I have tons of questions to ask my gyn :)

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience. 4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

PCA is Patient Controlled Analgesia. It is usually Morphine or Demerol that is piggybacked into someone's post-op IV fluids. The PCA pump can be programmed to deliver a set dose of the analgesia at specific intervals and often the patient is also able to press a button and give themselves a "booster" dose if they feel they need it. The PCA unit is locked and computerized. There is no danger of overdose. Because you are getting almost continuous pain relief, but in small controlled doses, it controls the pain so very well. Wait, you'll see. There's nothing scary about it. I don't know what you've heard. That button to get more pain relief becomes your little friend for the first day or so after surgery--believe me. The nice thing is your relief is immediate. No waiting for a nurse to get your shot for you.

grimmy, RN

349 Posts

[color=darkslategray]ok- here it comes from an or nurse...

you are hardly alone in your fears. most patients who come to the or in fear are afraid of this very thing. agreed, we do have great meds available for anesthesia, and much of what happens through the preoperative phase is typically forgotten because of versed. its a good thing. in a perfect world i'd tell you you'll be 100% fine, and not to worry. it's not a perfect world. the good news is that in the past 2 years that i've been in the or every single patient i've had has recovered from anesthesia...every single one. not everyone is extubated immediately, but all of them, even the lung transplants, have made it off the vent. there are some extremely rare instances of funky anesthesia events, but they are really rare - less than 2% of all pts have them, and typically half of those occur in children. so...your odds of waking up postop are extremely good...excellent, in fact. i've had 5 surgeries, 4 with general anesthesia. you wake up with cotton mouth, feeling like you've got to pee...and then you fall asleep again. then you wake up in your room or in pacu again. by then, you're ready to talk and the nurse hauls you out of bed for your first walk. :chuckle


Specializes in OB/GYN,L&D,FP office,LTC. Has 36 years experience. 288 Posts

Would an epidural or spinal anesthesia be an option for you?

I had an during the surgery.

Your MD and/or epidural for my hyst,I was also given other meds to relax me. I woke up several times but I did not feel any pain.[/i]Your MD and/or anesthesia can talk to you about the type of anesthesia.

sphinx, BSN, RN

Has 16 years experience. 326 Posts

When I had my hysterectomy I got a lot of information and LOADS of support at http://www.hystersisters.com It's a wonderful site, has a fantastic message board and I highly recommend you check it out!

Good luck!

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