Hysterectomy Recovery: What to Expect
If you’re scheduled for a hysterectomy or considering undergoing this procedure, we suspect you have a lot of questions. What many patients want to know upfront is what they can expect during their hysterectomy recovery. Now, this can depend a little on the type of hysterectomy that is performed. Laparoscopic hysterectomy is a common choice among our Houston patients because this technique requires smaller incisions than standard surgery and thus incurs a shorter recovery period.
Laparoscopic hysterectomies have been widely performed since the late 1980s. Due to the minimally-invasive nature of this technique, patients are typically back home a few hours after surgery. Still, the body may need six weeks or more to get back to its natural energetic state.
The Road to Recovery
- Get moving. We don’t encourage patients to start exercising right away, but it is important to walk. Walking keeps circulation moving well through tissue that is healing. It also inhibits the formation of blood clots.
- But don’t exercise just yet. Depending on the type of hysterectomy that is performed, exercise may need to be postponed for a few weeks. Generally, patients aren’t ready to even think about exercise until one week has passed after their hysterectomy. About two weeks after surgery, light exercise like walking longer distances, yoga (with some limitations on poses), and swimming may be approved.
- Avoid lifting. Whether for exercise, work, or household chores, lifting is a no-no for hysterectomy patients. For about one month, nothing weighing over 10 pounds should be lifted.
- Driving is something most of us are so familiar with that we don’t realize the muscles that we use in the car. Using the clutch of a stick-shift vehicle, hitting the breaks, and various other movements can place pressure on the abdomen. For this reason, some patients may be advised to stay in the passenger seat for at least two weeks after surgery.
- Sex will be on the backburner. Patients often want to know what their intimate limitations will be after hysterectomy surgery. Generally, doctors advise waiting six to eight weeks before inserting anything into the vagina. This includes tampons, as well.
Undergoing a hysterectomy can be one of the biggest and best choices a woman makes for her health and well-being. To consult with an experienced gynecologist about this procedure, call our Houston office at 713.955.6560.