Speed Up Your Hysterectomy Healing by Slowing Down
Hysterectomies look differently today than they did in the past. 40 years ago, surgeons would make a large cut from the bellybutton down to the pelvic area in order to remove the uterus. Today, laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgeries look like a few dots across the stomach. Women benefit from less scarring, blood loss and recover much faster.
If you are in need of a hysterectomy, it’s important to research the surgery but also know your job as a patient to take steps to heal quickly and healthily. Follow some simple tips to heal faster from your hysterectomy.
Get Up and Move– A few hours after your surgery, it’s best to get up and take a few steps, even if it’s just to the bathroom. Your blood flow regulates throughout your body and reduces the chance for blood clots in your legs (called deep vein thrombosis), which can be deadly.
Care for Your Incision and Watch for Infection– Follow the discharge instructions and guidelines for recovery. Most likely your doctor will recommend washing the incisions with soap and water and keeping them dry. If you notice signs of infection like swelling, redness, drainage, or have a fever, call your doctor.
Fight Constipation– Drink lots of water and eat some fiber to avoid painful pressure in your abdominal area. Staying hydrated will help you recover and get your body back into the normal routine.
Relax and Get Plenty of the Rest– If you have a job where you are on your feet all day, make sure you take off a few weeks and put that time to good use by resting and healing. Strive for a full eight hours of sleep a night. Your body will feel rejuvenated, and you’ll get back to the daily grind faster.
Avoid Heavy Lifting or Strenuous Exercise– Your doctor will give instructions on how much activity you should do each day until you start feeling back to normal. Avoid heavy lifting (no more than 10 pounds) for at least a month, as the strain can put pressure on your incision. Although you may feel great just one week later, it’s important to remember that you’ve had major surgery and your body needs a bit more time before you settle back into your fitness routine.
Wait Before Getting Intimate– Typical healing time for a hysterectomy surgery is six to eight weeks, so per instructions, avoid tampons and intimacy until your doctor approves. Some bleeding is normal during healing, so use a sanitary pad in the meantime.
If you’ve had your hysterectomy and you feel great two weeks later, what’s the big deal if you start running or lifting weights again? Actually, hysterectomy recovery can take up to six to eight weeks. Your body has undergone quite a change, and remembering your limits while you heal is crucial to your longterm health. By following these tips, you can avoid infection, hernia, and other painful hysterectomy complications.
You should feel better and better as time progresses. Getting plenty of rest and light activity will help you transition safely back into your normal life a few months after the surgery. Should you ever feel pain, nausea, or signs of infection, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Content sponsored by Nevada Surgery and Cancer Center (NVSCC). Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, we treat gynecologic cancers including Ovarian, Cervical, Endometrial, Vulvar and Vaginal. Specializing in robot-assisted surgery, we also surgically treat fibroids, endometriosis and other complex gynecologic conditions with a minimally invasive approach. Doctor Lynn D. Kowalski, M.D., has served Las Vegas since 1998 with compassion and innovation.