Hysterectomy – Post-Op

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Hysterectomy

After the hysterectomy, you will have a brief recovery time in the hospital. Your recovery time at home (this is the period before you can get back to all your regular activities) will vary depending on the procedure that you had. Many women take hormone replacement therapy to ease their symptoms.

It is important to tell your doctor your age, your medical history, and whether you have had ovaries removed, so your doctor will give you the right treatment. You need to talk with your doctor about any problem which you experience. If you had breast cancer, then hormone replacement therapy is not recommended for you.

Also, there are non – hormonal treatments which can help you. It has been found that Effexor and other SSRI antidepressants, Clonidine and Neurontin can help in the treatment of hot flashes [1,2]. Also, some women can experience pain during intercourse after a hysterectomy. They can try different positions and lubricants and moisturizers because they can help them to deal with their symptoms.

Dualport-conventional-robotic-open hysterectomy

 

Procedures which you can have:

Abdominal hysterectomy:

It is noticed that most women go home two to three days after this surgery, but they completely recover in a period of 6 – 8 weeks. During this period, you need to take a rest at home. You should not do housework until you talk with your doctor about the restrictions. You should not make any lifting for the first two weeks. Walking is encouraged, but not the heavy lifting. After six weeks have passed, you can get back to your regular activities, such as including having sex.

(LAVH) The vaginal or laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy:

The vaginal hysterectomy is less surgically invasive than an abdominal procedure and the recovery can be as short as two weeks [3]. In most cases, women come home the same day or the next. It encourages walking, but the heavy lifting is not encouraged. You should not be sexually active for at least six weeks.

(LSH) The laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy:

This is a procedure that is the least invasive and it can have a recovery period as short as 6 days to 2 weeks. In this procedure, walking is encouraged, but not the heavy lifting. [4]

The robotic hysterectomy:

The movements of the surgeon are mimicked by robotic arms that make small incisions to remove the uterus. In most cases, women can come home the next day. If your cervix is removed, then you will have the same restrictions as you would have for a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy.

You need to call your doctor if you have any of the below-mentioned symptoms associated with any type of hysterectomy:

Shortness of breath or chest pain

Fever or chills

Problems urinating or having a bowel movement

Heavy bleeding or unusual vaginal discharge

Redness or discharge from incisions

Severe pain

Your hysterectomy recovery:

In most cases, women who live without a uterus will have relief from the symptoms which have caused them to have a hysterectomy – abdominal bloating, pelvic pain, and bleeding. When women will get relief from these symptoms, then they will have better sex – with greater enjoyment, frequency, and libido. But, if your ovaries are removed too, then you will have a few more challenges ahead.

If you had gone through menopause before your hysterectomy, then you will probably begin to have symptoms of menopause, like mood swings and hot flashes. In this period, your body is adjusting to changes in hormone levels. Also, you can have some changes in sexual desire and enjoyment, and vaginal dryness. [5]

In most cases, women begin with hormone replacement therapy before they leave the hospital because their bodily changes can be so drastic. Also, you can feel a sense of loss. You may grieve over your ability to have children and over the loss of your uterus. You may feel depressed if you had surgery due to cancer or illness. But, you need to remember that these feelings are normal, so you should not be worried. You can talk with your doctor and a mental health therapist about your feelings. But, in most cases, women are happy after their hysterectomy. [5]

References:

[1] Carroll DG. Nonhormonal therapies for hot flashes in menopause. American Family  Physician. 2006;73(3):457-64.

[2] Stubbs C, Mattingly L, Crawford SA, et al. Do SSRIs and SNRIs reduce the frequency and/or severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. 2017;110(5):272–4.

[3] Chen B, Ren DP, Li JX, Li CD. Comparison of vaginal and abdominal hysterectomy:A prospective non-randomized trial. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences. 2014;30(4):875–9.

[4] Cipullo L, De Paoli S, Fasolino L, Fasolino A. Laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy compared to total hysterectomy. Journal of the Society of Laparoscopic & Robotic Surgeons. 2009;13(3):370–5

[5] Duke University Medical Center. Hysterectomy increases risk for earlier menopause among younger women, study finds. Science Daily. 2011. Retrieved from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111114112311.htm

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