Considering Having a Hysterectomy?
Amy was miserable. She had been experiencing heavy periods, had fibroids, and her uterus was moving downwards, causing major discomfort. She went to see her doctor who told her she needed a hysterectomy. She opted for a laparoscopic hysterectomy which left no scars and had a short recovery time. She walked out of hospital the next day and didn’t experience any pain. 3 weeks later, she went back to work. Her greatest concern was about hysterectomy recovery.
Hysterectomy recovery time depends on many factors, but some hysterectomy procedures have shorter recovery periods.
What is a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to take out the uterus (womb). Most hysterectomies are conducted to treat problems such as heavy bleeding, fibroids, adenomyosis, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, and cancer. Depending on the form of hysterectomy being performed, associated organs such as the cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes can be removed at the same time.
It is worth noting that a hysterectomy is a major surgery and should not be regarded as the first treatment option for heavy menstrual bleeding. A hysterectomy is reserved for women who haven’t had success with conservative treatment options. Before getting one, you must understand the risks involved.
Recovery from Hysterectomy Procedures
After having a hysterectomy, you may experience pain and exhaustion. This is normal. Your doctor will give you painkillers to help reduce pain and discomfort. Here are some tips for recovery from hysterectomy procedures.
You will experience vaginal bleeding and discharge after this procedure; use sanitary pads. The bleeding may persist for several days or weeks after the surgery. If the bleeding is as heavy as a menstrual period or doesn’t stop, tell your surgeon.
Most women go home 3 days after having an abdominal hysterectomy; however, total recovery takes 6-8 weeks. During the recovery period, you need to rest at home. Do not do any housework before talking to your doctor. Don’t lift anything in the first two weeks. Walk every single day and return to your normal activities after 6 weeks.
A laparoscopic hysterectomy is a minimally invasive surgery. While most hysterectomies done in the US are abdominal hysterectomies, they could be performed as laparoscopic hysterectomies. Patients who have laparoscopic or vaginal hysterectomies recover faster. They spend a few days at the hospital and quickly get back to their normal routines.
Most women have laparoscopic hysterectomies to treat fibroids or abnormal uterine bleeding. Their ovaries are not removed during the surgery. Some opt for a total laparoscopic hysterectomy wherein the surgeon removes the uterus and cervix by making small incisions on the abdomen. Patients can decide to remove or keep their ovaries and tubes.
Most women spend only one night at the hospital after having a laparoscopic hysterectomy. Tell someone to pick you up after your surgery. During the first week, refrain from strenuous activities. Walk around the house and outside to restore your energy levels. You can resume work after 4-6 weeks.
Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
In this procedure, the surgeon manipulates the surgical instruments with a computer. The computer is placed in the operating room and the surgeon controls the robot’s movements precisely and steadily. He can easily access tiny spaces and perform the operation efficiently.
Once you go home, follow your surgeon’s instructions to the letter. You will feel pain during early recovery so take medication. Keep the incision area dry for a few days. Start walking and resume your regular activities after some days. Keep off heavy lifting for a few weeks. Talk to your doctor if the pain increases, if you have a fever, heavy vaginal bleeding, chest pain, pain in your legs, or shortness of breath. Complete recovery may take up to 2 months.
This is a procedure wherein the uterus is removed through the vagina. During the surgery, fallopian tubes and both ovaries may be removed. A vaginal hysterectomy is performed on patients with small uteri. The best thing about this procedure is that it has fewer complications and necessitates a short hospital stay. Patients recover quickly as compared to those who have abdominal hysterectomies. Many go home on the same day or the next day.
After a vaginal hysterectomy, you will be given food and fluids. On the first day, you may be given intravenous fluids, especially if you are vomiting or feeling nauseous. Your doctor will tell you to start walking. Being active is important as it prevents complications such as pneumonia and blood clots.
After your surgery, you will feel tired. Get plenty of rest. During the first week, start walking around the house or take short walks. Walking is the best form of exercise as it does not strain the body. Start pelvic floor exercises after 1-2 weeks. Do not perform tough activities for at least 6 weeks after your surgery.
Natural Healing for Hysterectomy
Medical technology advances have made hysterectomies less invasive than they used to be. The incision size has shrunk and recovery time has also improved. However, the procedure can still affect your body and destabilize your routine. Help your body to recover quickly by doing the following.
Avoid Working Out: You may feel sore after the surgery but don’t start working out yet. In the second week, do light activities and increase gradually over time.
Don’t Lift Heavy Objects: Doing this can put stress on your incision and cause a hernia. Don’t lift anything heavy and skip abdominal exercises during hysterectomy recovery.
Care for Your Incision: Your doctor will tell you to keep the incision area clean and dry and to check for signs of infection. You should also wear loose-fitting clothes to avoid irritating the incision.
Wait To Have Intercourse: Wait 4-8 weeks before putting anything in your vagina. Don’t have sex or wear a tampon during this period.
Deal with Constipation: During the recovery period, you may suffer from constipation. Use an over-the-counter stool softener and stay hydrated.
Homeopathy: One day before your surgery (and 7-10 days after your surgery) consider taking a combination of certain homeopathic remedies. My personal favorites are: Ledum 30C (this helps with puncture wounds) , Staphysagria 30C (helps with avoiding infection), Arnica 200C [if you can find it and if not use 30C] (this helps with pain) and Hypericum 30C (helps with nerve pain).
Dissolve 5 pellets of each of these remedies in your mouth (do not chew) every 4-6 hours starting 24-36 hours before your surgery. Even though you are usually to be nothing by mouth the morning of your surgery theses tiny pellets do not interfere with this order so you can take one dose before your surgery.
After your surgery dissolve 5-6 pellets of each remedy (all 4) every 2-3 hours for 24-48 hours then start to spread them out until you are taking them every 4-6 hours for the next 7-10 days.
You cannot overdose and they will not interfere wIth any other medications that have been prescribed.
For more information on Homeopathy read my article titled, “Homeopathy: Healing the Body Holistically.“
Generally, hysterectomy recovery time depends on your age and overall health. It takes approximately 6-8 weeks to completely recover from an abdominal hysterectomy. But vaginal and laparoscopic hysterectomies have shorter recovery periods.
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Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.