Updated: Dec 6, 2021
Making a decision on a treatment plan is a big step. If you're reading this, you may have considered options like ablation or an IUD (and many others depending on the symptoms leading you to consider hysterectomy). The invasiveness and finality of hysterectomy is welcomed by many women, you'll likely hear a lot of people tell you it was the best thing they ever did. At the same time, many women have to spend a while processing it. In the end, the decision to have a hysterectomy is a personal one, and you get to feel whatever you feel about it. The goal of this article isn't to influence a decision, but to guide you through how things work when you do decide.
Scheduling a surgery can seem confusing and disjointed if you've never done it before, so we've outlined the basics to help you anticipate next steps once you and your doctor agree that hysterectomy is the right choice for you. These steps are generalized, so it may not go exactly like this for you, but you'll get the gist.
Step 1. Your surgeon orders your procedure. This can take some time so don't expect the next steps to start rolling in right away. This behind the scenes part can take a while depending on the doctor's schedule.
Step 2. The scheduler will give you a call. They will work with you to find a date that is available and works for both you and your surgeon. Often times a doctor only operates on certain days of the week, so be ready to be flexible. They probably won't give you a time, but can let you know where in the line up you are on that day.
Step 3. Insurance verification and payment. The scheduler will reach out to your insurance company to verify benefits. This is another thing that occurs in the background and you'll hear from them closer to your surgery so you know what you're out of pocket cost will be. Once your surgery is approved by your carrier and your doctors billing team has confirmed costs, you'll be asked to pay your portion. It is important to confirm costs directly with the hospital and anesthesiologist as well, as this is where most surprise costs can come up, especially if your doctor is not employed by a hospital group or your surgery is taking place in a surgery center (that said, check no matter what).
Step 3. Preadmission testing. Depending on your health situation tests may vary but you'll at least have to have blood tests and a pap smear before you're surgery. These days, a pre-op COVID test will likely be needed a few days before surgery.
As you get closer to your surgery, you'll have a few calls with nurses and hospital admissions people. More details can be found in our post on what to expect the day before surgery.