Hysterectomy experience?

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Hope someone has some experience they can talk with me about. 

My new care plan if for lymph node removal and hysterectomy. What am I expecting in terms of recovery (open surgery)? I don't mind time frames, but for things like:

I have a sofa bed in my living room. Am I better off sleeping there for a few weeks rather then upstairs? Will using stairs be to painful? 

Do I need to be buying a compression belt to help with support and or healing? 

Will I need my other half to be at home with me full time for a few weeks or will I manage on my own after a few days? 

Any help would be great. 

  • Hi  

    I had more major open abdominal surgery than the hysterectomy, but which obviously included a hysterectomy, but still could manage the stairs so did not require to sleep downstairs. It wasn’t sore for me to use stairs but I needed to use the bannisters and go very slowly. 

    I would ask your surgeon about the need or otherwise for a support belt. I’m aware they are very popular in America but have seen them sometimes not recommended in the UK.

    I needed a huge amount of help when I got home, but again that was due to my particular surgery, and shouldn’t be the case for a hysterectomy. However you would need to be very careful with lifting and bending. Nothing heavier than filling a kettle with an amount of water for a cup of coffee for example. 

    I would recommend stool softeners as you don’t want to be struggling with going to the bathroom. The bowel doesn’t like being moved about in open abdominal surgery and constipation can be an issue. I had a failed open abdominal hysterectomy and this was by far the worst problem for me afterwards. It’s useful too to have a footstool when you go to the loo so that your feet are off the floor-it makes things much easier. Peppermint oil capsules are good for trapped wind.

    Hopefully other ladies who have had your surgery will come along soon with their own advice, but this might give you a start.

    Sarah xx

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  • Thanks Sarah. Definitely a good start. I got so blind sighted in my appointment today due to other complications that I completely forgot to ask my questions. I will ring the nurse though and talk with her about everything aswell. I already have mobility issues and 2 young children so I think I'm panicking a little lol.

    Thank you for replying x

  • Definitely you need to take time to recover from the surgery. With two young ones I think you’ll definitely need help to begin with, so hopefully your other half can be at home at the start when you get out of hospital. Do you know when you’ll be getting your surgery? 

    Sarah xx

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  • Yes. Booked in for 4th April x

  • Hello,

    I had open abdominal surgery for a hysterectomy with lymph node removal.

    I agree with Sarah about the stairs. I could manage stairs but I had to go very careful holding on to the bannister.

    I never used an abdominal belt. I couldn't stand pressure on my abs so I wore loose dresses as my stomach was very swollen. After a few weeks I started taking very small careful walks and increased as I felt able. When I say small, I literally mean to the end of my driveway and back. My hips hurt quite a bit so I was very slow walking for quite a long time and couldn't do any impact sport for over 12 weeks.

    I have a small toddler and needed my husband home. Your not meant to lift anything really. Its small things like reaching up for a plate to make a sandwich that I couldn't do or trying to lift and pour a 6 litre bottle of milk for my cuppa. I also needed him to make sure my little boy didn't jump all over me and to allow me to rest rather than worry about nappies. I was also uneasy at the fact I couldn't pick up my son in an emergency.

    I would say the first 2 weeks were the hardest. By 6 weeks I was doing light housework and walking a decent distance slowly. 

  • That's really helpful. Thank you so much for sharing xx

  • Hi Musicmum

    I am currently recovering from open hysterectomy and totally agree with the recommendations for peppermint oil and stool softeners immediately post op. They manage the pain brilliantly in hospital but for me the trapped wind was excruciating initially as I had not been forewarned. I managed the stairs 2 days post op but still hold the bannister 9 weeks later. Tiredness is the hardest part  when you get home I think. Just make sure you listen to your body and DO NOT overdo things. My wound opened up slightly which has delayed my recovery but all in all I am just about there now. Take each day as it comes with its ups and downs and keep in mind that it is all worthwhile. Always remember that tomorrow is a new day and you will get there. Allow yourself a bad day if it happens.. you have nothing to prove to anyone.  Just remember that each new day brings you closer to normality so a few steps back now and then is just par for the course. The anxiety and fear seem to disappear after the op which in itself is a boost. Good luck xx