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Post Hysterectomy

Vaginal Hysterectomy Recovery: Explained

The amount of time a patient requires to recover from a hysterectomy depends on several factors. The first factor to consider is the extent of the surgery. If the surgery is a radical abdominal hysterectomy in which the ovaries, cervix, uterus fallopian tubes and surrounding lymph nodes were removed, the recovery time will probably be threes months barring post surgical complications. Since this surgery is most often perform to remove malignancies, post surgical cancer treatments may affect the recovery time. The onset of surgical menopause may cause the patient to feel fatigued beyond the usual recovery period. It may not be possible for cancer patients to receive HRT for menopausal symptoms.

The vaginal removal of the uterus and cervix is a less invasive surgery and, as a rule, requires less recovery time than a radical abdominal hysterectomy. The patient will probably be unable to go to work for two to three weeks following the surgery. If the patient's job involves bending lifting or other strenuous activity, she will have to remain out of work longer. Generally patients are encouraged to return to their daily routines as soon as possible following surgery. Lifting will probably be restricted for about three months. In most cases light, low impact exercise can begin within days of the surgery. If the procedure was performed to remove a malignancy, there may be post operative cancer treatment which can make recovery time longer.

The laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy is the shortest, least invasive and least extensive of all hysterectomies. In this procedure only the upper part of the uterus is removed, leaving the cervix intact. The cervix serves as support for other pelvic organs and leaving the cervix in place shortens recovery time significantly. Laparoscopic surgical techniques are minimally invasive, requiring only a few short incisions. This surgery is rarely performed to treat malignancies, so there is unlikely to be any post operative treatment that will interfere with recovery. Patients, whose jobs don't involve strenuous physical activity, may return to work with in 5 to 7 days. As with any hysterectomy there are restrictions on lifting for about three months post surgically.

Patients with underlying health conditions may take longer to recover from surgery. Morbid obesity, diabetes, clotting disorders, heart disease and other illnesses can prolong both healing and recovery time. A patient's doctor will usually discuss recovery time prior to the surgery so patients can make arrangements for necessary assistance at home. Following the instructions of the doctor will give patients the best opportunity for a speedy and uneventful recovery.

Age is a factor in recovery, younger patients generally recover from any type of surgery more quickly than older patients. Age is a factor in recovery time. Young physically fit patients in good health will generally have the shortest recovery time.

An additional factor in recovery time can be the emotional or mental out look of the patient. In this area, older patients tend to fare better than younger ones. Women who are post menopausal have fewer obvious symptoms than those who are faced with surgical menopause. Older women are not concerned with losing the ability to have children. Younger women may become seriously depressed following surgery, particularly if they are childless. It has been clinically demonstrated that mental outlook and emotional health are factors in the physical healing process following all types of surgery.

Hysterectomy should be a treatment of last resort for most conditions. The post surgical recovery and long term health effects of the surgery should be taken into account by a woman and her doctor. While surgical recovery is usually complete in three months, women who under go hysterectomy are more prone to heart disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, thyroid disorders and certain cancers, than women who do not have the procedure. Early menopause can accelerate changes usually associated with age. Patients should discuss these issues with their doctors before undergoing hysterectomy, unless the surgery is being performed for a life threatening condition.

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