Womb (uterus) cancer

A place for people affected by womb cancer (also known as uterus or endometrial cancer) to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Post op advice

RobeH
Posted by

Hello all. My mother is having her pre-op today and is booked to have a full hysterectomy in 3-4 weeks for stage 1B endometrial. 

I just wondered if members could kindly give some advice about what to expect after the op? Just some general advice on recovery time and recovery methods. My mother is recently turned 73 and not particularly strong, so we're a bit worried about how she will cope physically. The consultants have told us that keyhole surgery is the most likely option.

Thank you. 

Fairycake
Posted by

Hello I had my hysterectomy via vertical abdominal incision so things were a bit different. I'm sure Anne and others will be along soon to share their experiences of having surgery in their 70s. As I understand it, recovery from keyhole hysterectomy is likely to be quicker than by incision. Having said that,all the same rules about not lifting, not bending etc still apply. Your Mum may well be given some blood thinning injections to do each day and the sexy green stockings to wear (how long for seems to vary from hospital to hospital!) Lots of rest but getting exercise through gentle walking (building up distance and speed gradually) is usually advised as being mobile helps get rid of trapped wind and is generally great for physical recovery. It's important to do the pelvic floor exercises afterwards too. Try to plan in some treats to look forward to, stock up the freezer with some easy meals and make sure your Mum resists any urge to overdo things -it's easy to think you're Wonderwoman on a good day! One of the best things is making sure she has a small folded towel or cushion to hold firmly but gently against her tummy when she sits, stands, coughs etc - you get some funny looks but I really does help to support your tummy. Your Mum is very blessed to have such a lovely, caring daughter taking care of her and I hope you'll find that things go well. Sending you both lots of good wishes x

RobeH
Posted by

Thanks Fairycake, that's very useful. I should point out that I am my mother's son, though, not her daughter ;)

Fairycake
Posted by

 Oops, sorry .

NannyAnny
Posted by

Hi RobeH,

Nice to see a caring son here!!!!

I was 72 when I had my hysterectomy by keyhole. I regard myself as fairly fit, and I recovered well. I was very careful about not lifting, or humping a hoover around. I got my husband to do all that. I built up my fitness again by walking a bit further each day, starting with a 10 minute walk and gradually increasing it. Initially it took me all my time to walk across the car park to the car at the hospital! The consultant said I would be at my previous fitness at 3 months afterwards and she was about right!!

Good luck x

oldady
Posted by

Hi ,

I can't really add anything to Fairycake's suggestions about the immediate post operative period.  I was 76 when I had surgery and recovered quite quickly.  I was able to go to the theatre 3 weeks later.   

What I did find however was that although in the first week  it was easy to remember what I should or shouldn't be doing - after that it was easy to forget that things weren't quite back to normal yet.  The first time I changed the bed I struggled with a recalcitrant fitted sheet which was a mistake.  .  I worked out ways in which I could do all the normal things without straining.  Filling  a large saucepan with water from a jug instead of taking it to the tap worked well, as did removing cooked vegetables and pasta from the pan with a slotted spoon instead of carrying the heavy pan to the sink to strain it.  In fact some of the techniques like this have stayed with me.  It doesn't seem sensible for anyone, let alone an 80 year old, to be moving around the kitchen with a pan of boiling water! 

I think the key thing is to get moving as soon as possible.  Walk a little more each day.

Don't let her get constipated!, If the laxative from  the hospital doesn't suit her, ask for something different.

Ignore any dust or mess around the house. I found this very easy.

I don't know how domesticated you are, RobeH.  but you may want to make sure in the next couple of weeks that you  or someone else knows how things like the washing machine work and where the clean sheets are etc.   I did spend a lot of time showing my husband how to do tasks like the washing and on-line banking.  It worked for a while but sadly that knowledge has proved very temporary.

XXXX

Anne

(Class of 2015!)