Prepare for a total abdominal hysterectomy by gathering information, following instructions about medication, planning ahead for the hospital stay, discussing anesthesia and arranging for help during recovery, states Mayo Clinic. To determine the doctor’s approach, tests may be performed before surgery to check for cancer.

Learn the details of a total abdominal hysterectomy by asking the doctor and surgeon in-depth questions in order to feel comfortable about the procedure, suggests Mayo Clinic. Doctors should be notified of all over-the-counter medications, herbal preparations and dietary supplements to determine if any changes should be made. Alterations of a typical medication routine may also be necessary in the days before a hysterectomy. Before the procedure is performed, arrange for help at home during recovery; full recovery could take weeks, and many activities such as lifting heavy objects and driving are restricted.

Tests such as a pelvic ultrasound, pap test and endometrial biopsy are used to check for abnormalities in the reproductive system before a total abdominal hysterectomy, according to Mayo Clinic. Medication or a solution to cleanse the digestive tract, as well as a vaginal douche, may be given to prevent infection the day before surgery. An antibiotic medication is given immediately before surgery to reduce the risk of infection after the procedure.