Recovery After Hysterectomy: What to Know

Hysterectomy refers to the surgical removal of the uterus, an organ found in the pelvis of female humans. On each side, one ovary and one fallopian tube are connected to the uterus. A fertilized egg inserts itself in the uterine lining, nourishing the growing baby until delivery.

The uterus, or womb, plays a vital role in the reproductive process. After a hysterectomy, a woman would no more have periods and will be unable to have children.

Preparing for Hysterectomy Surgery and Recovery

The length of time it takes for patients to recuperate after surgery varies. The time it takes for some women to feel back to normal after giving birth differs significantly from case to case.

The surgical method utilized to remove the uterus will determine how quickly you might expect to recover after a hysterectomy.

How to Heal Properly After Hysterectomy − Considerations for Patients, Doctors, and Family Members

A Hysterectomy's Success Depends in Large part on the Surgeon's Technique

A hysterectomy requires a 5- to 7-inch incision in the abdominal area, which will need time to mend. Typically, stitches (often the dissolvable kind) or surgical staples are used to seal this cut. Non-dissolvable sutures or staples will need a follow-up visit with your doctor to remove them.

A vaginal hysterectomy without a laparoscope will leave you with just a little incision in the vagina, which will heal without leaving any scars. The employed internal sutures will most likely disintegrate on their own.

Within a week, the Steri-strips covering the two to four tiny cuts (each less than an inch long) should be gone. They are typical after a vaginal hysterectomy during which a laparoscope or other devices were put into the abdomen.

How Long Is the Average Hospital Stay for Hysterectomy Patients?

It all comes down to the method of operation when determining how long a patient must remain in the hospital afterward. After an abdominal hysterectomy, a woman can spend one or two nights in the hospital.

Outpatient surgery is the norm for vaginal, laparoscopic ally assisted vaginal, and robotically-assisted operations. One study found that women who had these less invasive procedures either went home the same day or stayed in the hospital for one night at the most.

It's important to talk to your doctor about what to anticipate following surgery.

What About Eating After a Hysterectomy?

According to one study, you may usually eat and drink 24 hours after an abdominal hysterectomy. If you've just had surgery, you may not have a bowel movement for two to four days. Because of the anesthetic and organ manipulation, your bowels may temporarily slow down. By the time you're allowed to go, you should be burping.

What Pain Can I Expect After Having My Uterus Removed (Hysterectomy)?

Postoperative pain after an abdominal hysterectomy is often more severe than that experienced by patients who had a laparoscopic or vaginal hysterectomy.

But this pain usually responds to opioids given within the first 24 hours, sometimes for a little longer if required. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be all that's needed to ease the discomfort by the second day.

Some women may not need any pain relief. If they do, though, it is manageable.

When Does a Full Recovery after Hysterectomy Occur?

Postoperative abdominal surgery recovery time might be between one and a half to two months, so as a patient, no heavy lifting for six weeks (meaning items over 20 pounds). Before cleaning or vacuuming −

  • See your doctor.

  • Avoid sexual contact for six weeks.

  • Never place a tampon into your genitalia.

Vaginal or laparoscopically assisted hysterectomy recovery takes two weeks. It hardly hurts. Incision sites bruise and swell (if the procedure was laparoscopic). Most women should avoid sexual activity and lift for six weeks.

Hysterectomy and Uterine Removal Surgery Pose Certain Dangers

Though complications are uncommon, you should seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms.

  • Symptoms of low body temperature

  • Signs of abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding include:

  • Disabling pain

  • Wound infection or redness

  • Constipation or difficulty urinating

  • Problems breathing or discomfort in the chest

Hysterectomy and Short-Term Side Effects

In the days and weeks after your procedure, you may notice mild, intermittent vaginal bleeding. As time progresses, this trend often reverses.

How to Get Back to Normal After a Hysterectomy

Getting up and moving about as soon as possible after surgery is crucial, but rest is still necessary. Take it slow and pay attention to how your body feels. Feeling exhausted sometimes is entirely natural.

Depending on the operation, you might be out of commission for as long as six weeks.

Hysterectomy: The Importance of Exercise and Other Physical Activity

After an abdominal hysterectomy, you can resume regular exercise in about six to eight weeks. You can continue low-intensity training in two to four weeks if the procedure is laparoscopic.

What Women Feel After Having Their Uterus Removed

The decision to undergo a hysterectomy may elicit a variety of feelings in women. Perimenopausal women who have been dealing with symptoms like fibroids or abnormal bleeding appreciate the possibility of a long-term remedy.

Possible Consequences of a Hysterectomy

The long-term consequences of hysterectomy differ from woman to woman based on several variables such as age, health, and the organs removed.

What to Expect After a Hysterectomy and During Surgical or Induced Menopause

If the ovaries are removed during a hysterectomy, and the patient has not yet experienced menopause, the patient will enter what is known as surgical, or induced, menopause. Hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness are all potential side effects, but not everyone has them.

While estrogen levels steadily decline in the years leading up to menopause, these levels may drop significantly once ovaries are surgically removed. Your doctor may recommend hormone replacement treatment to ease the more severe symptoms associated with menopause.

The aftermath of a Hysterectomy on Your Health

Some women have urine incontinence and other issues with their bowels and bladders after having their uterus removed (hysterectomy). There are occasions when surgical intervention is required.