Hysterectomy Recovery May Be Several Weeks, Even Two Months
So, you’ve had your hysterectomy, everything’s fine now. Sit around the house a couple of weeks and then it’s time to go back to life. It would be nice if it worked that way. For some women who have minimally invasive hysterectomies recovery may follow that scenario somewhat. However, for most women hysterectomy recovery will mean at least a day or so in the hospital followed by several days of limited movement at home. For those who undergo abdominal hysterectomies which may include the removal of other reproductive organs the period of recovery may be several weeks, even two months.
Women who had vaginal hysterectomies or simple laparoscopic hysterectomies will often go home on the first or second day after their operations. Except in the most exceptional circumstances even women who have had extensive hysterectomies will begin limited, supervised movement within the first twenty-hours after surgery. A woman who has had an abdominal hysterectomy that included removal of the ovaries will find herself walking the hospital hallways with someone for support on the second day after her surgery. Make no mistake, this will be painful. Lying in bed without exercise, however, will only make the recovery period last longer and be even more painful.
In the days after her surgery it is very important that a woman not do any lifting or other exercise which would strain her back, upper legs or pelvic area. There should be no sexual activity until the woman has been given a green light by her physician. It is also important to get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet and drink lots of water.
After going home a woman should be on the look out for indications of possible problems. If she notices any of the warning signals, a woman should report them immediately to her doctor. Things to watch for include: Pain in the back, upper legs, pelvic area; pain when urinating; nausea, vomiting, dizziness; heavy bleeding; redness, swelling; an open incision and/or a leaking incision. In the hours, days and weeks following her hysterectomy a woman may suffer from extreme tiredness, lethargy and depression. She should not be unduly concerned about these symptoms as long as they do not last for more than a week to ten days.
A woman should return to her normal schedule gradually. Her body will be her best guide for what she is able to do. However, she should be mindful that lack of exercise can be as tiring as too much exercise. The longer a woman waits to get back into the swing of things the more difficult it may become to have a complete hysterectomy recovery. Post hysterectomy it is also very important for a woman to have annual physicals at the very least.
Many times women view hysterectomy as a totally negative experience. No doubt there are unpleasant and painful aspects to any hysterectomy. Still, although life after surgery may be different that does not mean it will be diminished. Making sure to have a good hysterectomy recovery is the best first step toward meeting the challenges of post operative life.
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