Hysterectomy refers to the surgical removal of the uterus. It can certainly affect a woman physically and emotionally. It is essential to follow the guidelines given by the surgeon so as to recover from hysterectomy.
Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure wherein the uterus is removed from the body. There are three types hysterectomies namely, complete/total, partial/subtotal/supracervical, and radical. In complete hysterectomy, the uterus as well as the cervix is removed. In partial hysterectomy, only the uterus is removed. In radical hysterectomy, the uterus, cervix, upper part of the vagina, and surrounding tissues are removed. This is done only in serious cases like cancer. So, it is clear that hysterectomy recovery period may vary, depending on the surgery. However, partial hysterectomy recovery will be quicker and easier than the other two hysterectomies.
There are two ways to perform this surgery. These include laparoscopic surgery and open surgery. The open surgery requires a larger incision, whereas a laparoscopic surgery involves smaller incisions, which is why one might recover faster in case of a laparoscopic hysterectomy. However, bodily changes will take place irrespective of the type of procedure owing to the removal of the uterus.
Guidelines for Recovery after Hysterectomy
- The patient is usually discharged from the hospital within 48 hours of the surgery. This is generally the case, unless there are any complications. While leaving the hospital, ask any doubts that you may have about your routine and the medications to your doctor.
- Once at home, plan your schedule well. Refrain from doing any strenuous work. Avoid lifting any heavy objects, as lifting heavy objects can displace the internal organs. Allow the stitches from the surgery to dry up.
- After consulting with the doctor, you can start doing some light stretching exercises after a few days. However, it is advisable to resume walking after 2-3 days of the hysterectomy. Do not walk too much at a single time or on an uneven plane. Get up from the bed and walk for five minutes at an interval of two hours on a flat surface.
- Maintain a balanced diet. Since the body metabolism has to get adjusted to the new arrangement, it will be easier to digest fluids and light food. Also, eat nutritious food that will give you stamina and help the surgical wound to heal faster. Constipation can have an adverse effect on the internal organs, as well as the surgery wounds. Therefore, consume fiber-rich food.
- Mood changes could occur after hysterectomy. Depression and mood swings will be frequent due to the hormonal imbalance caused by the loss of such an important organ such as the uterus. Stay around family and friends and talk to them about it. Meditation and yoga (light yoga exercises) can help to cope up with the stress. Seek medical help, if you feel very depressed.
- Abstain from sexual activities for at least four to six weeks after the surgery, as it may cause infection or displacement of organs.
- Keep track of what changes happen in the body. If you find excessive bleeding or pus in the wounds visit the doctor.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes.
Do not worry, as this surgery is a routine operation. Get in touch with someone who has undergone this surgical procedure and has healed successfully. Take their help and advice to plan your surgery. If the above mentioned necessary steps are followed carefully, you can switch back to your normal daily routine easily.