Schematic drawing of types of hysterectomy

Image via Wikipedia

Your Hysterectomy and the Healing Period

 

 

Whatever the cause or reason, your doctor has recommended that you have a hysterectomy and you want to know about the healing period. That is the first place you should be asking all your questions. However if you were nervous, afraid or shy then you have come to the right place for some answers. We will try to cover the whole period of the recovery time for a hysterectomy.

First let us discuss what a hysterectomy is: A hysterectomy is a surgical operation to remove the uterus (womb). It can include other reproductive organs too depending on the reason for the surgery in the first place. When surgery does not involve removing the cervix, it may be referred to as a subtotal hysterectomy. A radical hysterectomy involves the surgical removal of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, oviducts, lymph nodes and lymph channels. After a hysterectomy you will never menstruate or have children again.

Some of the reasons for having a hysterectomy are: heavy bleeding with a boggy uterus, cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, painful agonizing periods, and endometriosis and prolapsed of the uterus.

Recovery time will vary depending on the woman; depending on the type of surgery you have and if there are any complications. It might help you to know that surgeries of today are so much more advanced than they were years ago. Surgical procedures cause less stress and therefore the recovery times have shortened over the years.

There are two kinds of hysterectomies; vaginal and abdominal. With the vaginal it will be done with a laparoscope. The laparoscope is a small surgical instrument that goes in through your belly button. Usually there are three tiny incisions for other instruments and the uterus is cut free through those small holes and pulled out through the vagina. It is the easiest surgery to recover from. You should be able to go home in 1-3 days if you are eating well, peeing and not in a lot of pain.

Abdominal hysterectomy requires a long cut across your belly usually the doctor tries to make it where it will not be seen, like right at your bathing suit line. This surgery is much like a C-section when you have a baby. The muscle has to be cut through so there is some pain in the recovery time. Pain medication will help you keep mobile and in as little discomfort as possible. Your stay in the hospital maybe up to 3-6 days where you will walk, urinate, have a bowel moment and be eating well.

With recovery time you have to take into consideration a few things. Vaginal recovery time is shorter than abdominal at about 2 weeks to feel good again and abdominal can take up to 6 weeks. When you wake up from surgery you will feel groggy and have pain, the amount of pain will depend on what they had to do, the reason for it and your general state of health.

You may have a tube in your belly for drainage of blood from the wound, and you will most likely have a urinary catheter and an IV drip in your arm.

You will be encouraged to walk within one day, this is to help you gain strength and to not get blood clots in your legs. Do not put off taking pain medications for fear of being addicted. You will not be on them long enough. It is also easier to keep your pain away if you take the pills when you first need them and not wait till you are crying in pain.

When you get home you need to remember to keep well hydrated, not to lift anything over five pounds and to keep walking. Do not put anything in your vagina for at least 6-8 weeks. This means anything; no douching, no tampons, and no having sex! If you have had abdominal surgery then it is really a good thing to just take two weeks off of life and let someone else do the work. You focus on getting better.

You will see your doctor if all goes well in six weeks and will be released back to normal life.

Filed under: Women's Issues

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!