Post hysterectomy bloating and tenderness

Hi, feel a bit guilty asking on here as I look and mostly feel ok. I'm six weeks post surgery, full hysterectomy stage 1a, but I'm finding any clothing that is across my stomach so uncomfortable and after a few hour in leggings (loose ones) or tights my stomach becomes quite swollen and so so tender to touch. I find I can't wait to get back into nightwear. Am just about managing to sleep on my side now but still uncomfortable. Anyone else found this or have thoughts. I'm thinking it's just scar tissue and nerve endings. Trying to eat healthy and not get bunged up cause that is painful. Thought I'd be bouncing about by now and back to normal. Thanks in advance.

  • Hi smartiepants,

    First of all, don't feel guilty, this is what the group is here for! It takes a while to feel 'back to normal' it's still early days, that being said, have you spoken to your CNS or doctor to rule out an infection or any other issue? My stomach was bloated for a while after my op, I lived in my leggings and pyjamas. I was sleeping on my back for a while but I propped pillows at each side and I could roll onto my side for a while each night and I eventually worked back to sleeping on my side, I'm actually a front sleeper, it's taken ages to be able to lie on my front again, but I can now. I had real trouble getting my bowels back to normal, I found prune juice good for getting things moving and banana good at stopping them. By six weeks I was able to go out and meet someone for lunch but an hour or two out the house was enough for me. I could also drive myself to appointments and do light errands. I didn't start back with the hoover until six months but I could do some housework at six weeks. I basically done what felt comfortable and if anything hurt I stopped. 

    Lots of love 


  • hi smartiepants (great name btw) did you have keyhole or open surgery? if its the latter then it might take more time to heal up. when are you due your post op check? if i were you if its not soon id contact your cns or consultants sec to find out if they think you should be checked. i had keyhole and by 6 weeks i was more or less fully healed. i think you need to put your mind at rest.

  • Thanks, (name was childhood nickname)

    I had keyhole surgery. I had a check at 4 weeks and mentioned it but they thought it was fine and just taking time to heal. Main outside scars are healed. Don't have any other appointments until January for a patient trial I'm in.  Any other follow up is patient initiated, I had the option to be seen but they said statistically most issues/reoccurance are  from patients spotting symptoms. 

    I'll give the CNS a call Monday - thanks for the advice.

  • Thank you, I feel like such a wimp not doing stuff, I've always been the one doing stuff. Managing to do quite a bit, not hoovered but cooking, some ironing etc. Been out almost every day to walk and get fresh air. Been eating prunes, pears and apples,  drinking lots of water. Usually have a sleep when I get back after going out.  If I  stay  in my nightwear I'm not so bad but can't start back at work in my nightie ( I'd love to wear pjs but can't bear them round my waist). I'm off for another 2 weeks but feeling a bit pressured to get back because I look so well on the outside.. I'll give CNS a call Monday, just don't like bothering people. 

    Thank you again

    Love and best wishes

  • haha my mum used to call me that when she thought i was getting above my station!! im glad youre ringing your cns if shes anything like mine youll just get voicemail. in the past ive contacted mine through email as well. ive become good friends with my consultants sec over the years shes been more helpful than the nurse actually. dont try and push yourself listen to what your body is telling you!!

  • Hi Smartiepants,

    I agree with the others to call your CNS, just to check. I had keyhole and was 1A. I didn't have tenderness round my waist, but had a 'pouch' between my legs! I asked several people about t, but no-one was concerned. It wobbled when I walked! It has gradually disappeared, but I worried for months about it. 6 weeks is early days. I think you are doing OK with your walking. I didn't hoover until 3 months, which is when my consultant said I should be back to normal fitness levels. We went away in the motorhome at 6 weeks, but I rested up every afternoon. It was just a nice change to be able to look at fields instead of the same 4 walls. xxxx

  • Regarding clothing have you considered some underbump maternity leggings or trousers with a tunic. You can buy online. 

  • Hi ,

    I second the advice from those who say you should contact your CNS and/or your consultant's secretary. 

    By 6 weeks I was wearing all my normal clothes with no problem.  So unless you usually wear extremely tight fitting clothes  with waist cinching belts, a bit of advice from your medical team wouldn't go amiss! . 

     And don't forget, going back to work isn't just a matter of whether you "look well" it's how you feel !  So don't let yourself be pressurized.  

  • Thank you, for the helpful comments. I bought leggings which were a size bigger and my weight is the same as when I went in to hospital but whatever I eat or drink during the day seems to make my tummy bloat. Trying to drink more water today to see if that helps.

    Thanks again everyone is brilliant on here.

    Lots of love

  • Hi Smartiepants, It was probably at least 3-4 months before I was comfortably back in my usual skinny jeans.  I was thin before the operation, and afterwards my tummy was noticeably swollen (to me, anyway) so I lived in stretchy dresses and leggings for ages. I noticed that my tummy swelled more by the evening, especially if I had been on my feet all day.  I don't think that happens any more but I couldn't put a date on when it stopped happening.  It was also a good few months before I felt ok to lie on my side for long in bed.  I did eventually get back to my usual shape though, after several months.  2 years on from surgery I am sitting here now in my skinny jeans with a big belt on.  So I'd agree with the other suggestions to consult an expert, and if there is nothing medical to be concerned about then do not despair - maybe you are like me and it will take a while to regain your usual shape.

  • Thank you so much. I'm definitely better if I rest more but that's not an option really, wouldn't be healthy either. Hopefully I'll get to speak to CNS.

  • Hey smartiepants,

    Dont rush back to work until you feel better and comfortable, I was off work for three months, and even at that I had a phased return and was still tired. My initial line was for four weeks but the hospital told me to see my gp to get it extended as I needed it, the gp was very supportive and had some tips / ideas to help cope with the surgical menopause too. 

    Its easy for people to look at the outside and think you are ok but the internal healing takes a while, my doctor said up to two years! 

    I hope you get some help from your CNS and that you take more time off work.

    lots of love 


  • Hi smartiepants, I had open and laparoscopic surgery in May and I am still off work..due to start back hopefully next week. I would say my swelling has just about gone down now but I did have trouble with my wound healing and I did have to rest. I still get the odd pains now and again if I have been standing too long or have done too listen to your body and rest if you need to. It's still early days and as arla says you still have to heal internally. My biggest problem in the early few months was tiredness and I used to drop off at odd times during the day so bear this in mind if you are contemplating going back to work. You have not failed if you take a few extra weeks! You take care now and go carefully. Love and hugs. Lamb.xx

  • Hi Arla

    i have just read your tips and wanted to say thank you for the pillow idea. I’m up at 4am again which is becoming a trend, unable to sleep on my back after hysterectomy 9 days ago. I worry about snoring and disturbing my husband who is exhausted from doing everything. 

    Your pillow tip just might save my marriage!

  • Hi Christmas,

    im glad it's helped, some folk recommend the maternity style pillows too. I had to change sides of the bed after my op as my side was under the sloping roof, my poor husband just had to go along with my demands lol. 


  • Hi Smartiepants don't rush to go back to work. I returned after 8 weeks but only made it for 2 days before my boss told me to go back to the doctor and get some more time off. In all I was off for 12 weeks and returned on reduced hours for another 6 weeks  -  it was probably a year before I felt I was back to 'normal' andeven now have the odd twinge or two. Everyone is different and heal at different rates etc. The junior doctor who signed my sick note after my op was very optimistic though as, because I 'only' had keyhole surgery and worked in an office, she only gave me a week off - the nurses were horrified as was my GP!  As the others have advised give your CNS a ring and they will point you in the right direction - like you I have an open appointment and self referral but find it difficult to decide whether I need to contact them or not.