Laparoscopic Homecoming: A Safe Guide To Post-Hysterectomy Recovery

Tips For Healing From A Hysterectomy

A variety of underlying concerns can lead to a woman receiving a hysterectomy. Historically, this was a medical procedure in which the uterus was removed. In some scenarios, the fallopian tubes as well as the ovaries were also removed. Traditionally, a hysterectomy was an invasive surgery in which a large incision was made in the lower abdomen to remove the organs mentioned above.

Benefits of laparoscopic hysterectomies

These days, a less invasive option known as a laparoscopic hysterectomy can be performed. Along with less scarring, another benefit is faster healing time. Other benefits of the alternative treatment include reduced infection risk, shorter hospitalization timelines, and the patient returning to normal life faster. However, the procedure usually takes longer than traditional methods and there is a risk that the urinary tract or other organs may be injured during the process. Help speed recovery with the following tips.

Immediately after surgery

Because hysterectomies are inpatient procedures, most individuals will spend at least 24hrs in the hospital before being discharged. The average is usually 2-3 days, depending on the cause for the surgery. However, if a cancer diagnosis prompted the procedure, expect to spend potentially longer in the hospital.

Recovery timelines

Traditional hysterectomies had longer recovery periods that ranged from six to eight weeks. However, with a laparoscopic procedure, that term has been reduced to 4-6 weeks. However, women planning to have this surgery should understand that while physical recovery is quicker, some individuals may take as long as 6-8 weeks to return to previous activity levels.

Get active

As soon as a recovering individual is able, try to start moving around. Focus on gentle activities such as walking. Staying mobile is critical to ensure proper function and minimize blood clots risk. Likewise, low-impact activities such as showering or walking up or down the stairs are safe to perform. However, avoid lifting more than 10lbs in the first few weeks to prevent injuring incision sites. Similarly in the initial few days after surgery, avoid driving a car

Avoid sexual activity

In the first few weeks after surgery, patients are urged to avoid placing anything in the vagina for up to three months or 8-12 weeks. Along with penetrative sex, the directive also includes using items like douches or tampons. Only when a physician has agreed that the patient is healed should such activity be attempted.

Maintain proper wound care

Showering is okay and approved during the recovery period. If stitches, staples, or even glue were used to close the incision, patients can remove any bandages and shower daily. Likewise, incisions treated with tape strips are also safe for shower exposure. However, submersion in water is not advised until approved by a physician. Along with not taking baths, avoid swimming or spending time in a hot tub until approved to do so.

Take control of recovery

Ultimately, following the surgeon’s post-surgical instructions are the best way to ensure proper healing. However, signs that recovery is not progressing as expected include having a fever over 100.5°F, bleeding or yellow or green discharge at the incision site, difficulty breathing, coughing that doesn’t go away, inability to eat or drink, nausea and vomiting, pain or difficulty urinating, and gas or inability to have a bowel movement. If the above occurs, women should contact the doctor immediately.


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