Clinics at: Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth | Clementine Churchill Hospital | Portland Hospital

Useful Tips To Follow After Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Surgery

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the uterus, the primary reproductive organ in a female body. Two ovaries are attached on each side with a fallopian tube, and a fertilised egg implants itself in the uterine lining to continue a pregnancy. Endometriosis, uterine fibroids and gynaecological cancer – all of them are valid reasons to have a hysterectomy performed. However, you will not have a menstrual cycle or get pregnant after this procedure.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy surgery is less surgically invasive than the traditional abdominal procedure, and patients usually recover by two weeks. After that, they typically return home the same day and are permitted to walk around. In any case, it is major surgery and could take weeks to heal fully.

  • Take pain medication :- Hysterectomy causes significant soreness and pain in the lower abdomen, sometimes for several weeks. Your private gynaecologist will prescribe pain medication, which must be taken on time. In an abdominal hysterectomy, the postoperative pain is more severe compared to a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy. In most cases, you can treat your pain with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.

  • Exercise :- You must exercise when healing from a hysterectomy because it increases your heart rate and moving around strengthens the pelvic muscles, relieves constipation and gas pain and prevents deep vein thrombosis. Also, take frequent naps throughout the day, for you are still healing. It is normal to feel fatigued, depressed or have a low appetite for months as the body adjusts and heals itself.

    Avoid lifting heavy objects, driving or straining the abdominal wall for six weeks after surgery. This is because you have had a major surgical procedure done, and your response time slows down due to the pain medication.

  • Care for your incision :- Whether you have an abdominal hysterectomy or vaginal, you must clean and take care of your wound. You do not want germs to enter and cause infection, as the doctor would reopen the incision and clean it out. Otherwise, you will take medication to prevent the infection from spreading. Wash the incision with warm water and soap every day. Pat dry, but don’t submerge yourself in water four weeks after the surgery. Check your wounds for drainage, tenderness, swelling and redness.

  • Refrain from sexual intercourse :- Doctors do not recommend sexual intercourse for a minimum of eight weeks after the surgery. Use sanitary napkins to collect bleeding, as you are not allowed to insert tampons or menstrual cups into your vagina.

  • Have a wholesome and balanced diet :- Though you will crave comfort foods after a hysterectomy, consume healthy food at all times. Think of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, beans, fish and chicken (though some chocolate is acceptable!). Eating well prevents weight gain during low activity levels, provides energy for recovery, prevents constipation and keeps the mind positive and stable.

  • Treat constipation :- Constipation is common after a hysterectomy is standard due to low activity levels, pain medication and anaesthesia – all of which slow down bowel movements. Have at least eight to ten glasses of water, and consume olive oil, seeds and nuts. Increase the fibre intake to aid constipation, or gentle laxatives and stool softeners recommended by the doctor.

  • Seek immediate medical attention :- Contact your doctor immediately if you have difficulty breathing, feel confused, have uncontrollable bleeding pain, high fever or suspect something wrong with the incision. Do not neglect your symptoms, as you must prevent emergencies by seeking treatment. In addition, the faster your receive treatment, the sooner you will recover.

  • Wear loose and stretchy clothing :- It takes time and effort to remain comfortable when you are healing from major surgery. So before the procedure, buy loose stretchy trousers and dresses to feel better as you heal. You must not apply pressure on your pelvic area, so avoid jeans and shorts. Loose-fitting clothing prevents pressure on the incision and belly, making it easier to work and relax.

  • Ask for help :- Though you are an independent person, this is one of those times when you need your loved ones. Inform your family, neighbours and friends about your surgical procedure. Consult a therapist or online support groups if you want to express your feelings about the hysterectomy.

  • Experience bodily changes :- It is common to have bloody vaginal discharge, night sweats, vaginal dryness and hot flashes. This is because your body starts going into menopause, especially if you have had both ovaries removed.

Hysterectomy being a major surgery, it is essential to have a healthy aftercare plan. If you are looking for a London gynaecology clinic, visit us at Well Women Clinic.

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