If you have a hysterectomy by laparoscopy, the procedure won’t be as traumatic as vaginal or abdominal surgery. However, you will still need to undergo a recovery process. Here’s what to expect and how to ensure a speedy recovery.
Following your procedure, you will experience a degree of pain and nausea. Your medical team will ensure that you receive the relevant drugs to relieve both of these issues.
Dressings and other post-operative items
Immediately following your procedure, you will have a dressing placed over the wound. You may also have a catheter to drain urine from your bladder and there may also be a drip in your arm. If your ovaries have been removed, you may be given hormone replacement therapy drugs in the form of patches or tablets.
The catheter and drip will usually be removed within 24 hours. Your dressing will need changing every day in order to keep the wound clean. The day after your operation, you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk around the hospital ward in order to help your circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots forming.
Within a few days, you should be allowed to go home, although you will need to attend follow-up appointments with your medical team or GP every few weeks.
Even though your wound will be very small, your total recovery period will be around six weeks. During this time, you shouldn’t lift anything heavier than a kettle and you won’t be allowed to drive until you can wear your seat belt and stop safely in an emergency.
Back to work
If you have a desk job, you should be able to return to work within a month or two. Manual occupations may require a longer recovery period.
Exercising and sex
Light exercise such as walking or swimming can be helpful in speeding up your recovery, but you should avoid hitting the gym, yoga or Pilates classes where stretching and bending is required for a couple of months.
You can resume your sex life once your operation scars have healed completely and any vaginal discharge has stopped.
A hysterectomy is a major operation, and even though laparoscopic surgery is less traumatic than other methods, you’ll still need to take the above advice into consideration during your recovery. If you have any concerns following surgery, contact your medical team straight away.