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Tips for Recovering from a Hysterectomy

Enduring a hysterectomy and then the resulting hysterectomy recovery can be a challenging road to walk. This major surgery can solve many problems for those suffering from heavy or painful periods, uterus prolapse, uterine cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids. Roughly three hundred women out of one hundred thousand will have a hysterectomy in their lifetime. 

A hysterectomy can be a life-changing event, as it sometimes can ultimately save your life in the event of cancer, and can also alter the age in which you experience menopause. Understanding the process and the steps to recovering will help make this surgery successful and easier to recover from in a timely manner. If you are planning to undergo a hysterectomy and are wondering what the hysterectomy recovery will bring, consider these tips for recovery and prepare yourself for your surgery. 

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Hysterectomy Overview

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus. Hysterectomies occur for numerous reasons. Sometimes, a hysterectomy is the result of an emergency. Other times, it is to treat cancer. Several other non-emergency, non-cancer reasons for a hysterectomy exist. Uterine fibroids, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis, and uterine prolapse are some of the other conditions that can lead to a hysterectomy.

Surgeons perform several different types of hysterectomies. In some cases, removal of only a part of the uterus occurs, and in others, the doctors remove the entire uterus. In addition, in some situations, there is the removal of the ovaries as well. 

There are also different procedures that healthcare professionals use during a hysterectomy. The first is open surgery or an abdominal hysterectomy. In this type of surgery, the uterus removal occurs through an incision in the abdomen. Minimally Invasive Procedures include vaginal hysterectomy and laparoscopic hysterectomy. 

After having a hysterectomy where the surgeon removes the ovaries as well, a woman will begin menopause. If the ovaries remain after surgery, menopause might start at an earlier age. Recovery time is essential after your hysterectomy, and you will want to follow your doctor’s recommendations for care.

Hysterectomy Diagnosis

Your healthcare provider will diagnose your condition and determine if a hysterectomy is an effective course of action. Depending on your condition, a hysterectomy may or may not be the appropriate treatment. 

Typically, in conditions other than cancer, if other less invasive treatments fail, then a hysterectomy may be an option. Your doctor will diagnose your condition through gathering your medical history, a physical exam, and other imaging studies as necessary depending on your particular disease or condition. Once your doctor evaluates your medical condition, he or she can determine whether or not surgery is the best option. 

Hysterectomy Pain Management

After your hysterectomy, it is essential to take proper care to recover. Your doctor will recommend a recovery plan that you will need to follow. These tips for a healthy hysterectomy recovery will help you feel better and back to yourself.

Heavy Lifting

Regardless of which type of hysterectomy surgery you undergo, you should avoid heavy lifting for six weeks. Your healthcare provider will encourage you to walk but will want you to avoid heavy lifting as well as other household chores and physical activities.

No Sex For Six Weeks

In addition to avoiding heavy lifting, you should also abstain from sex for six weeks. Abstinence is a recommendation for any type of hysterectomy surgery. 

Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy

You may experience menopause after your hysterectomy if your surgery includes ovary removal, or may experience it sooner if your ovaries remain. You can manage the symptoms of menopause with hormone replacement therapy. Your doctor will identify whether or not you are a candidate for these treatments. 

Take Time for Your Mental Health 

Some patients experience feelings of loss after their hysterectomy, especially if it means an end to any future pregnancies. Many women grieve the loss of their uterus and their ability to have children. If you were battling cancer and had a hysterectomy as part of your treatment, you may experience depression. If you are struggling with these feelings, make sure you take the time to heal emotionally. Share your feelings with your doctor and consider seeing a mental health therapist to help work through this event. 

Final Thoughts

A hysterectomy is a major surgery that also requires ample recovery time. Taking care to heal properly will ensure your surgery is successful. Whether your hysterectomy was surgery to save your life or to improve your quality of life by eliminating pain, you will have a new lease on life afterward. By taking the right amount of time to heal, listening to your doctor’s recommendations, and resting, you will be back to enjoying life and feeling much better. 

Each unique surgery requires its own recovery recommendations that you should follow. A hysterectomy can change your life and alleviate the pain and symptoms of whatever condition you were experiencing before surgery. Take the time to recover and heal, and enjoy being pain-free.

Being aware and up-to-date with accurate and informative data regarding a variety of health-related topics is essential to your well-being. It’s vital for you to have access to the information you need regarding medical conditions and their treatments so that you can make informed decisions. We are here to offer the information you need to understand health conditions and pain management options.