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Preparation

Because a hysterectomy removes the uterus, this surgery will prevent you from ever becoming pregnant. If you wish to remain fertile, you should ask your doctor if there is any other treatment for your gynecological problem. If there is any chance that you might be pregnant, you should be tested carefully by your doctor before surgery.

You may have preliminary blood tests, a urinalysis, an electrocardiogram (EKG) and a chest X-ray to make sure there are no undiagnosed medical problems that could complicate your surgery. A pelvic ultrasound may be done to evaluate the uterus and ovaries, depending on your medical history and physical exam. Beginning at least eight hours before surgery, you must not eat or drink anything. This reduces the risk of vomiting during surgery. Most women are asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight before surgery to allow the stomach to be as empty as possible. Antacids commonly are given just before surgery to counteract any remaining stomach acids and to further reduce the risk of vomiting.

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