5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Compare Your Hysterectomy Recovery to Others’
There are many factors that play into your recovery time. Because of this, it’s unfair to compare yourself to anyone else. Your recovery is just that: your recovery. It’s unique to you because you are a unique woman. Just as the journey that brought you to hysterectomy is not the same as anyone else’s, neither will be your recovery.
Here are a few of the factors that contribute to how you heal:
1. Different hysterectomy types.
There are several different methods of performing a hysterectomy. Your doctor will recommend the method that is most appropriate for your health and which she is also qualified to perform. Since the surgeries are different, recovery times vary, too. An abdominal hysterectomy recovery time can be approximately 6-8 weeks, while minimally invasive surgeries such as da Vinci hysterectomy or laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy can be approximately 4-6 weeks.
2. Surgeon’s skill.
Each surgeon has unique training, specialties, and skill sets. Certain gynecologic sub-specialists are better qualified for specific GYN surgeries; for example, for endometriosis,GYN cancer, and pelvic floor repairs. The results of surgery can be directly related to the surgeon’s level of skill, and it takes years of training and experience to produce a highly skilled surgeon.
3. Personal health.
Your age, fitness level, weight, any pre-existing conditions, and smoking status can all play a role in how quickly or how comfortably you recover. Chronic health conditions such as fibromyalgia and diabetes can make recovery longer and possibly more uncomfortable.
4. Reason for surgery.
Your reason(s) for surgery is the deciding factor regarding what will be done or removed during your hysterectomy. For example, if you have a cancer concern, you may have a radical hysterectomy which will likely extend your recovery time. If you have pelvic organ prolapse and need A&P repairs or a TOT sling, your recovery will also likely be extended. Conversely, if you are able to retain your cervix, this will likely shorten your recovery time.
5. Psychological preparation.
Studies indicate that women who are psychologically prepared for their hysterectomy tend to have a range of beneficial outcomes such as:
- experiencing less post op pain,
- using less pain medication,
- having a shorter length of stay in hospital,
- having a quicker recovery time, and
- more likely to be satisfied with their surgical outcome.
The following information can go a long way towards being prepared:
- understanding exactly what will be done during the surgery,
- information on how the patient will feel post op (both physically and emotionally),
- clear post op restrictions,
- access to hypnotic and/or relaxation training, and
- cognitive behavior therapy – a very effective treatment for anxiety and chronic pain.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Compare Your Hysterectomy Recovery to Others’