What Is a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus. The type of hysterectomy your doctor will recommend can vary depending on your condition. Depending on the type of hysterectomy will depend on what the hysterectomy recovery looks like. Some hysterectomies only remove the uterus, while others may also remove your cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The different types of hysterectomy include:
- Total Hysterectomy: During a total hysterectomy, your doctor will remove the entire uterus, including the cervix.
- Partial Hysterectomy: In a partial hysterectomy, your doctor removes the uterus but leaves the cervix intact.
- Radical Hysterectomy: This type of hysterectomy is usually performed for gynecological cancer patients. During the surgery, your doctor will remove the uterus, cervix, the upper portion of the vagina, and some surrounding tissues, including lymph nodes.
- Hysterectomy with Salpingo-Oophorectomy: In addition to removing the uterus, this procedure also includes the removal of both the fallopian tubes and the ovaries.
It is important to note that the specific type of hysterectomy your doctor recommends is based on an individualized basis through evaluation and discussion. If you have questions regarding your hysterectomy and hysterectomy recovery, please talk with your doctor.
What To Expect When Recovering From a Hysterectomy
Recovering from a hysterectomy can vary depending on the type of hysterectomy you had done. As with any surgical procedure, recovery can come with discomfort, but most patients fully recover and return to normal activities within six weeks. Here are some general tips, guidelines, and advice to help you recover from your hysterectomy.
Pain and Discomfort
Some post-operative pain and discomfort are to be expected after a hysterectomy. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter remedies to manage your pain. Taking all medications as prescribed or as your doctor recommends is important. If your pain is not managed adequately, consult your doctor about alternative treatments.
Rest is important after a surgical procedure. Most patients will feel sluggish and sore for a few weeks after their procedure. Try to get a good night’s sleep each night and take breaks when needed during the day.
Take Activity Slowly
As you are recovering from your surgery, it is important to introduce light daily activities gradually. Make sure to go slowly and take breaks when needed. Overexerting yourself too soon can result in slowed healing. Your doctor may also recommend you go to physical therapy.
Support Your Incision
After abdominal surgery, you will have an incision on your abdomen. Keep the incision clean and dry. Avoid activities that may put a strain on your incision. You may find comfort in holding a pillow or rolled-up blanket tight against your incision when coughing, sneezing, or changing positions.
Maintain Good Nutrition
Eating well is important after a surgical procedure like a hysterectomy. A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins like chicken or fish is recommended after a hysterectomy. Keeping hydrated is also important to help with healing.
Watch for Complications
Complications after a hysterectomy are rare, but it is important to be aware of any signs of something wrong. Watch for excessive bleeding, severe pain, fever, or infection like redness and swelling around your incisions. If you experience any concerning symptoms, speak to your doctor right away.
Your doctor will expect to follow up with you after your procedure to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns. Depending on your type of procedure, your doctor will give you instructions on how often they expect to see you for follow-up.
Make Your Recovery Plan Today
It is important to remember that everyone’s recovery is different. Speak with your doctor today to discuss your expectations after your hysterectomy.