Chicago physicians offer tips for faster recovery from a laparoscopic hysterectomy
The team at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C. offers comprehensive women’s care to patients from Chicago to Northwest Indiana and the surrounding areas. A hysterectomy may be performed abdominally or laparoscopically. Both types require time for the body to heal. If a hysterectomy is recommended, you may ask your doctor for tips for faster recovery from a laparoscopic hysterectomy.
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus and cervix. The fallopian tubes and ovaries may or may not be removed. This procedure may be done laparoscopically through several small abdominal incisions or abdominally through a single, large incision. A hysterectomy may be recommended for the following reasons:
- Severe vaginal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Prolapsed uterus
Tips for a faster healing process
Generally, minimally-invasive laparoscopic hysterectomies are associated with an easier, shorter recovery period and less hospital time. Since the laparoscopic incisions are much smaller, less healing time is needed. Below are several tips to help improve the healing process following a laparoscopic hysterectomy.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions. As with any procedure, it is important to follow your physician’s orders. This increases the likelihood of a smooth, healthy recovery period. For most patients, laparoscopic hysterectomies are outpatient procedures. You will be given post-care instructions before you are sent home.
- Eat a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of fluids. A healthy diet is always a good idea. During a hysterectomy, your body goes through many changes. Following the procedure, drink fluids and eat light meals. Drinking enough water and increasing your fiber promotes healthy digestion which will lessen the likelihood of constipation or issues going to the bathroom.
- Take the medication as prescribed. The first couple of weeks after surgery are the hardest. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to help ease your discomfort and the healing process. This will also allow you to resume normal activities and your regular routine. If any activities cause you pain, stop them immediately. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help avoid infections. Take the medication as directed.
- Walk. Although resting and drinking fluids are crucial for recovery, walking is just as important. Take short walks daily. Do not overexert yourself, but slowly add more time to your walks as you feel up to it. Walking promotes healing and good circulation. It can also help prevent surgical complications such as blood clots or chest pain. Do not jog, perform strenuous activities, vacuum, or lift heavy objects until your doctor approves.
- Avoid sexual activity. While you may feel well faster, avoid placing anything in your vagina for at least six weeks after surgery. This includes having sex and using tampons. Your body needs time to heal. Following a post-operative check with your doctor, you will be cleared for sexual activity.
- Take showers rather than baths. During the first few weeks, showering is recommended over bathing. It is easier to avoid bumping, hurting yourself, or using your sore abdominal muscles by standing in the shower rather than lowering yourself into and out of a bathtub.
Recovering from surgery can take a few weeks until you really feel like yourself again. While discomfort and vaginal bleeding may occur for a couple of weeks, contact your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- Signs of infection around the incisions
- Trouble breathing, eating or going to the bathroom
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
Consider a Northwestern GYN for your feminine health needs. For additional tips for faster recovery from a laparoscopic hysterectomy, contact our Chicago office today for an appointment with our experienced team. Call 312-440-9400.