Vaginal Hysterectomy Recovery Time Explained
The length required for hysterectomy recovery time is one of the many concerns a woman must grapple with when facing this major surgical procedure. A woman’s time is divided in so many ways that when she must contemplate major surgery she will, of course, wonder, “How long will I be away from my family and my work?” It’s also important for a woman to know what she will be able to do during the hysterectomy recovery time.
Each woman will need a different amount of time for rehabilitation. Hysterectomy recovery time will also vary depending upon what type of operation a woman underwent. The condition which precipitates a hysterectomy and the severity of that condition will also affect how long it takes for a woman to return to her normal routine. Still, it is possible to offer a reasonable estimate of a woman’s hysterectomy recovery time and the feelings and side effects she may experience during this healing period.
An operation in which the uterus and cervix are removed vaginally generally has the shortest time spent in the operating room and in the hospital as well as the shortest hysterectomy recovery time. A woman who suffers no complications may be able to return to normal activity in only two or three weeks. A laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy in which the uterus and not the cervix is taken out through small abdominal incisions necessitates a slightly longer stay both in surgery and in the hospital. Getting back into the swing of things after this procedure may take three to six weeks. A fully abdominal operation in which a large incision is made requires the longest time on both the operating table and in the hospital post operatively. Depending upon how extensive the operation was the hysterectomy recovery time from this operation may go on for as long as three months.
By following her doctor’s instructions and watching carefully for any indications of problems a woman will be able to recuperate from any hysterectomy in the shortest amount of time possible. Post operative rehabilitation will begin for most women on the second day after surgery. Even at this early time a woman will begin gentle, supervised movement. Within twenty-four hours after that with the support of another person she will probably be on her feet and walking short distances.
After being released from the hospital a woman’s hysterectomy recovery time will move into a new stage; she will still be very tired but under the direction of her physician the woman will start light exercise. It is important though that none of the exercise strains her back or pelvic area; no high impact exercise or lifting allowed. She should also take care to eat a healthy diet possibly supplemented by vitamins. Staying hydrated will also be imperative. If the hysterectomy caused the onset of surgical menopause, a woman may now begin hormone replace therapy (HRT) or other treatments for any menopausal symptoms. During this time a woman must be alert for any signs of problems ensuing from her hysterectomy. These indications may include nausea, dizziness, fever, extreme prolonged fatigue, pain in the back, thighs and/or abdomen, leaking from sutures and excessive bleeding. Extended depression should also be discussed with the woman’s medical team.
All hysterectomies require several days to three weeks of rest before returning to activity. More severe abdominal procedures may require a hysterectomy recovery time of twelve weeks or even more. While this period will be difficult, boring and stressful, a woman should realize that following her doctor’s instructions carefully and patiently will reduce the chance of setbacks down the line.
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