Recovering From Hysterectomy
After you have had a hysterectomy, your recovery time at the hospital will generally be brief, only about a few days or at most a week. Your recovery time at home, how fast you can resume doing your normal everyday activities, will vary depending on the type of procedure you had.
Most patients who have undergone abdominal hysterectomy go home within three days after surgery, but complete recovery takes anywhere from six to eight weeks. During this time, patients are advised to fully rest at home. You should not be doing any chores not even light housework. Neither should you be lifting for the first two weeks. You are highly encouraged to walk as soon as you feel able enough to do so. In six weeks times, you can already get back to your regular activities, including having sex.
Vaginal or laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LVAH)
Since a vaginal hysterectomy is less surgically invasive than an abdominal hysterectomy, recovery can be as short as two weeks. You are also encouraged to start walking, but you are certainly not allowed any heavy lifting.
Laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy (LSH)
LSH is the least invasive of the three procedures therefore recovery can be expected to be as short as six days to as long as two weeks. Like in LVAH, walking is encouraged, but heavy lifting is still prohibited.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should call your attending physician immediately:
- Fever coupled with chills
- Heavy bleeding or bloody vaginal discharge
- Severe pain on or very near the incisions
- Redness or any discharge from the incisions
- Problems urinating or having a difficulty in bowel movement
- Chest pain or any shortness of breath
Your Post Hysterectomy Recovery
Some women consider hysterectomy a God-sent relief from heavy bleeding, abdominal cramps and having a bloated, uneasy feeling – monthly – because with the relief comes the opportunity to enjoy sex – better, more often and more satisfying.
However, if your ovaries were also removed with hysterectomy, you might be in for more challenges ahead. Menopausal symptoms such as mood swings and hot flashes might begin to manifest themselves as your body adjusts to fluctuations in hormone levels. Worse, you might not get to enjoy sex like you thought you would because loss of sexual appetite and vaginal dryness are two other symptoms of menopause.
You might also begin to feel depressed and experience a sense of loss. Some women even go as far as thinking they are going insane. All these feelings are normal and are expected from post-hysterectomy and oophorectomy patients. For your peace of mind, you might want to consult a mental health therapist so you could also let your feelings out.
How to cope with the side effects of Hysterectomy
Post-hysterectomy, you might consider taking hormone replacement pills to relieve you of the undesirable symptoms. Talk with your doctor about it.
If you experience incontinence or bowel problems after hysterectomy, doing pelvic exercises can help strengthen muscles in the pelvic area. Otherwise, corrective surgery might be necessary.