Yes, although it will fade. The surgeon will make an incision (cut) that runs from your pubic hairline up to the area around your tummy button. The wound will be closed together using either sutures (stitches) or clips.
There will be an internal scar at the top of your vagina where your cervix has been removed. This will heal over time.
Yes. Make sure that all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction and that you fully understand what is going to happen to you. You are more than welcome to visit the ward and meet the staff before you are admitted to hospital. Just ask the gynaecology CNS to arrange this for you.
You may take part in the Enhanced Recovery Programme (ERP). The aim of this programme is to improve the quality of your care and get you back to full health as quickly as possible after your surgery.
If you are a smoker, it would benefit you greatly to stop smoking or cut down before you have your operation. This will reduce the risk of chest problems as smoking makes your lungs sensitive to the anaesthetic. If you need further information about stopping smoking, please contact your GP or the Smokefree NHS 0300 123 1044. A specialist adviser is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
You should also eat a healthy diet and if you feel well enough, take some gentle exercise before the operation, as this will also help your recovery afterwards. Your GP, the practice nurse at their surgery or the doctors and nurses at the hospital will be able to give you further advice about this.
Before you come into hospital for your operation, try to organise things ready for when you come home. If you have a freezer, stock it with easy-to-prepare food. Arrange for relatives and friends to do your heavy work (such as changing your bedding, vacuuming and gardening) and to look after your children if necessary. You may wish to discuss this further with the gynaecology CNS.
If you have any concerns about your finances whilst you are recovering from your operation, you may wish to discuss this with the gynaecology CNS.
Tests will be done to ensure that you are physically fit for surgery and help your doctor to choose the most appropriate treatment for the type and extent of your disease. Recordings of your heart (ECG) may be taken, as well as a chest X-ray. An MRI or CT scan of your pelvis and abdomen will be needed.
A blood sample will also be taken to check that you are not anaemic and to identify your blood group in case you need a blood transfusion.
We may take swabs from your nose, throat and perineum to find out whether or not you carry the bacterium known as MRSA. This is so we can identify whether you will need any treatment for this infection during your stay in hospital. Do not worry, if you are carrying the bacterium this will not cause your operation to be cancelled.
You will also get to ask the doctor and the specialist nurse any questions that you may have. It may help to write them down before you come.
Before your admission to hospital, you will be asked to attend the pre-operative clinic to make sure that you are fit for the operation. During this visit, the staff will discuss your operation with you and what to expect afterwards. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions.
Your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiration rate, height, weight and urine are measured to give the nurses and doctors a base line (normal reading) from which to work.
You will be admitted to the ward the day of your operation or the day before. You will meet the nurses and doctors involved in your care. The anaesthetist may visit you to discuss the anaesthetic and to decide whether you will have a ‘pre-med’ (tablet or injection to relax you) before you go to the operating theatre. Any further questions you have can also be discussed at this time.
Before your operation, you may be given some medication or an enema to help you have your bowels open.
You will not be allowed to have anything to eat or drink (including chewing gum or sweets) for several hours before your operation. Each hospital has slightly different fasting times and the ward staff will tell you more about this.
Before coming to hospital, you will be asked to take a bath or shower. You will be asked to change into a theatre gown before going down to the operating theatre. All make-up, nail varnish, jewellery (except your wedding ring), dentures and contact lenses must be removed.