The most common surgery that woman undergo in the United States is the hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus. There are four major types of hysterectomy surgeries and recent studies show that one in three women have a hysterectomy by the age of 60.
Four types of hysterectomy surgeries
- Total Abdominal Hysterectomy: the removal of the uterus through an incision made in the abdomen.
- Vaginal Hysterectomy: the removal of the uterus through the vagina.
- Laparoscopic- Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy: the use of tools to detach the organs to be removed and is removed through the vagina.
- Laparoscopic Supra Cervical Hysterectomy: the removal of the uterus through the navel.
Regardless of what type of hysterectomy surgery is performed, one of the main after effects is swelling.
Tips to help reduce swelling
➟ The best and most effective tip is to rest. Recovery takes anywhere from 2-6 weeks, depending on the surgical procedure. In this period, refrain from excessive physical activity. Physical activities to avoid include: lifting heavy objects, excessive walking and basically, any form of exercise.
➟ Try application of ice packs to reduce swelling. Inflammation of the tissues around the cuts causes swelling. Low temperature will reduce this inflammation as a result of which the swelling will decrease. However, be careful to not place the ice pack directly on the skin. Wrap it in a towel or cloth and use it on the swollen area. Do not leave the pack on for a long time or the area may become numb. Low temperature not only fastens the healing process but also reduces any pain that you may be experiencing due to the swelling.
➟ Anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and over the counter pain killers can help reduce swelling after a hysterectomy. It is pertinent to consult with your doctor prior to taking any medication.
➟ Compression is beneficial for those suffering from swelling after hysterectomy. Decreasing the collection of fluids in the surrounding tissues, compression bands and underwear can reduce discomfort due to shifting after the surgery.
➟ Ask for help during recovery. It is advisable to have someone by your side during the initial weeks, so you do not have to do any of the household chores yourself. Also, check with your doctor on what you can and cannot include in your diet. Try to avoid alcohol, smoking and heavy food. At any time if there is a sudden increase in swelling or the pain becomes unbearable, do not hesitate to call your doctor.
Hysterectomy is a major surgery and the incisions need time to heal. Swelling is common after the surgery. Do not stress yourself or else you will just aggravate the condition. The recovery time depends on the type of procedure and various other factors. Check with your doctor as to when you can resume exercise, intercourse and other every day activities. It’s just a matter of time before you get your presurgery life back.