How to Make the Best of Your Hysterectomy Recovery
Many women elect to get a hysterectomy at a certain point in their adulthood. However, many other women are told by their doctor that a hysterectomy is necessary, due to an illness or abnormality with their reproductive organs. Many people, not just women, may become worried and stressed when they think of the outcomes of any upcoming surgery, hysterectomy or other. They become worried about the process of the surgery and their recovery period.
Fortunately, modern medicine is growing. Procedures that were once scary and inconsistent now have much better success rates, shorter recovery time and are becoming more minimally invasive. Find out what to expect from your recovery from hysterectomy, and hopefully ease your mind, knowing how stress-free it can be.
What to Expect from Your Hysterectomy Recovery
Whether you get a partial hysterectomy or a full hysterectomy, you want to be mindful of what type of scarring you may have. In the past, all hysterectomies were performed abdominally with a long incision from the belly button down. As scientific and medical procedures advance, however, surgery became more sterile, safe, and less invasive. Specialists can now offer laparoscopic, and robot-assisted surgeries allow for a less-invasive hysterectomy surgery.
Robot-assisted surgeries allow for more precision and control than previous methods. New cameras can give enhanced details of the body, which help avoid injuries in surrounding areas and organs. Also, the vaginal hysterectomy allows for the uterus to be removed through an incision inside the vagina. So, the injuries and scarring that may once have horrified our grandmother’s generation has become less and less common.
Doctors will recommend your recovery time for a hysterectomy to be about six weeks. This period is crucial to allowing your body to rest and your scarring to heal. Do not get the incision area too wet, and make sure you dry the area thoroughly after showering.
If a woman is prescribed a hysterectomy due to certain cancers or another illness, they may see the period after a hysterectomy a grieving period, as they are no longer able to conceive a child. If you feel this grief, contact your support system for comfort. Let them know how you feel, and ask for help and support when you need it.
Getting Back to Normal Activities
After hysterectomy surgery, allow yourself six to eight weeks of healing time before you return to normal activities like swimming, working out or having sex. You want to take things slow, so you don’t re-open the wound or over-stimulate yourself. Six to eight weeks is the short-term recovery period, but your body needs six months to a year to be fully healed.
During the recovery process, keep your doctor informed of any concerns you have. If you have a fever or start noticing an infection around the incision area, contact your doctor immediately. You may also experience pelvic weakness or bladder problems. Allow your body the time to heal and get back to normal. In the meantime, you can perform Kegel exercises to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, and help with any urinary incontinence.
If your doctor has given you the recommendation for a hysterectomy, discuss all your concerns with your doctor beforehand. Of course, cases will vary depending on your condition and your necessity for a hysterectomy surgery. However, you can rest knowing that modern medicine is changing and making surgeries like this one more safe and effective for all patients.
Content provided by Dr. Lynn Kowalski of Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care. Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, NVSCC treats gynecologic cancers including Ovarian, Cervical, Endometrial, Vulvar and Vaginal. NVSCC specializes in Da Vinci robot-assisted surgery, treating fibroids, endometriosis and other complex gynecologic conditions with a minimally invasive approach.