Why has your doctor recommended a hysterectomy (an operation to remove the uterus)? The reasons could be varied, such as:
- Uterine fibroids that cause pain, bleeding or other problems
- Uterine prolapse, which is a sliding of the uterus from its normal position into the vaginal canal
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovaries
- Endometriosis, or growth of uterus tissue outside the uterus
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Adenomyosis, or a thickening of the uterus
There are two approaches to surgery – a traditional or open surgery and surgery using a minimally invasive procedure or MIP.
An abdominal hysterectomy is an open surgery. This is the most common approach to hysterectomy, accounting for about 65% of all procedures.
There are several approaches that can be used for an MIP hysterectomy:
- Vaginal hysterectomy: The surgeon makes a cut in the vagina and removes the uterus through this incision. The incision is closed, leaving no visible scar.
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy: This surgery is done using a laparoscope. The surgeon performs the hysterectomy from outside the body, viewing the operation on a video screen.
- Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy: Using laparoscopic surgical tools, a surgeon removes the uterus through an incision in the vagina.
The hysterectomy technique will partly determine the healing time and the kind of scar, if any, that remains after the operation.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask your Doctor
Your surgeon will opt for different approaches for hysterectomy depending on the reason for the hysterectomy and your overall health. But do remember, it is your body, and you know it best. Therefore, make sure to ask your doctor:
- What kind of surgery do you recommend and why?
- What kind of incision will I have?
- What are the risks and side effects of this surgery?
- What are my options for anaesthesia?
- How should I care for my incision after surgery?
- How soon after the surgery can I shower or bathe?
After a hysterectomy, you will have a brief recovery time in the hospital. Your recovery time at home — before you can get back to all your regular activities — will vary depending on the procedure you had.
Most women go home 2-3 days after an abdominal hysterectomy, but complete recovery takes from 6 to 8 weeks. During this time, you need to rest at home. You should not be doing housework. There should be no lifting for the first 2 weeks. Walking is encouraged, but not heavy lifting. After 6 weeks, you can get back to your regular activities.
A vaginal hysterectomy is less surgically invasive than an abdominal procedure, and recovery can be as short as 2 weeks. Most women come home the same day or the next. Walking is encouraged, but not heavy lifting.
A laparoscopic supra-cervical hysterectomy is the least invasive and can have a recovery period as short as six days to two weeks. Walking is encouraged, but not heavy lifting.
Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Heavy bleeding or unusual vaginal discharge
- Severe pain
- Redness or discharge from incisions
- Problems urinating or having a bowel movement
- Shortness of breath or chest pain
After a hysterectomy, a healthy lifestyle is no longer an option – it is a necessity. You may experience sudden weight gain. You may not sleep well. You may feel irritable. Your hormones are changing, and so is your body.
The good news is that with good nutrition, exercise and stress reduction, you can offset the downside of a hysterectomy. A few things to remember after a hysterectomy:
- Fill your plate with bright fruits and veggies. These are packed with antioxidants and fibre and should be the mainstay of your diet.
- Whole grains like oats, brown rice and legumes are high in fibre and should be included in your diet.
- Get enough calcium. Talk to your doctor and get a prescription for calcium supplements. Also, eat calcium-rich foods like dairy, salmon, yoghurt, broccoli, etc.
- Keep your weight under control by regular exercise.
- Ask your doctor about HRT (hormone replacement therapy) if your ovaries have been removed along with your uterus.
We’re Here to Help
And remember, that we, at MediAssist, are here to make your hospitalization experience as hassle-free as possible by assuring you a completely cashless hospitalization. Just concentrate on recovering quickly and getting back home to be among your loved ones; and leave all your insurance claims-related worries to us. Should you need any help or have any questions about your insurance coverage or claims settlements, do not hesitate to call us at (phone number goes here).
Wish you a speedy recovery!