A woman may have to go for a hysterectomy for multiple reasons, including, but not limited to, endometriosis, painful periods, uterine fibroids, or in the worst case, cancer.
The recovery from the hysterectomy depends on your surgeon’s surgical approach for the operation and your health. It may take from several weeks to a few months for a full recovery.
This article will help you understand everything that you may expect post-hysterectomy.
We shall also touch upon the ways to handle your pain, emotional ups and downs, and talk about some of the must-have products after hysterectomy, a snapshot of which is given below.
Rest Better With Pillows and Icepacks
We all know that a hysterectomy is a major surgery. You may feel tired for several weeks as your body is recovering from the operations and trying to adjust. Therefore, the amount of rest your body gets directly impacts the recovery time.
Having a set of pillows around you may help you relax better. In particular, you can get a hysterectomy tummy pillow because it enables you to sleep better. Doctors recommend holding a pillow against your tummy when you sneeze after having a hysterectomy to manage pain
Our top choice among hysterectomy tummy pillows is Rainbowstar Hysterectomy Tummy Pillow. It is high-quality soft, and lightweight.
Features and Benefits of Rainbowstar Hysterectomy Tummy Pillow
- Design – This tummy pillow is essentially designed in a manner to prevent any irritation or pain at the time of application or usage. The pillow has zippers and no buttons for the covering to prevent any skin irritations by the buttons. The zipper has been properly staged and has a smooth use.
- Provision of Pocket –This pillow also has a pocket built into it that allows you to insert a cold pad or a heating pad as per your convenience and requirement. The cold and heating pads will assist in relieving the pain and providing you maximum comfort.
- Easy Cleaning –the pillow offers a high-quality cotton feeling, which provides maximum comfort, and the whole product is very easy to clean and wash. It can be washed and dried at low temperatures. This pillow is an essential part of postoperative care after a hysterectomy.
- Dimensions –The pillow’s dimensions are enough to support the lower back consisting of Pillow:13 x 13 inches and Pocket: 13 x 6.5 inches.
Also, you may use a travel neck pillow. It is small, convenient, and fits between your stomach and the seat belt in your car. You can hold it against your tummy when you cough or sneeze to protect your incisions.
You may even consider getting yourself a seat belt pillow. A great option can be the Rainbowstar Hysterectomy Seat Belt Protector.
This seat belt protector will provide you with the support needed to reduce your seatbelt’s impact when you ride in a car. It can be used for the ride home from the hospital after the procedure. It has a light and breathable material used for production.
Besides that, ice packs are beneficial and comforting. Having two ice packs will ensure you have one of them when the other one is in the freezer. Moreover, the body pillow will make it easier to hold the ice pack in place.
The video below talks about the top five things to know after a hysterectomy surgery.
Use an Abdomen Binder
An abdominal binder is a recovery belt that you can wear around your abdomen post-surgery or after giving birth to support your tummy. Abdominal binders can help reduce pain around the incision after hysterectomy.
AltroCare abdominal binder is one of the most trusted brands in postpartum and operative care. Women started it as a small local business to create support and hearing aids for women’s recovery. This brand has a great quality index and is also recommended majorly by physicians and hospitals.
Altrocare makes these belts with a very breathable material. The abdominal binder is lightweight and does not irritate the skin or the incision when bound to the body.
Features and benefits:
- Light and Breathable –This abdominal binder uses light elastic material. The material is breathable and comfortable, which helps in quicker healing of the operated-upon area. The abdominal binder’s lightweight material ensures that you do not feel any additional pressure on the sensitive area, which may cause stretching and pain.
- Aids in Faster Recovery – This abdominal binder’s usage will promote good posture and strengthen the core muscles around the uterus area. This will also encourage the patient to practice deep breathing due to the binder’s correct amount of support. These practices will aid in the fast recovery of the patient.
- Material Used – This abdominal binder is prepared from latex-free material, which is highly lightweight and breathable to support the area of surgery and provides maximum comfort and helps in better healing.
- Dimensions –These binders are available in two heights (9 inches and 12 inches) and three lengths (from 30 inches upto 75 inches). These dimensions allow the proper fitting of this binder to all body types and shapes. Measurement of the pelvic area accurately is necessary if you choose your size binder to provide maximum comfort and support the healing process.
Why should you buy it?
The AltroCare abdominal binder is one of the trusted and high-quality medical binders for women, which you can use to strengthen the abdominal core muscles. It has been manufactured in the USA by following all the rules and regulations to use high-quality material and manufacturing practices. It is best used in patients after hysterectomy to provide proper posture and support to the lower back. This is our top choice in the list of absolute must haves after hysterectomy
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Exercise, but Take Care of Your Incision
While resting is important, moderate exercise is essential for a healthy recovery from a hysterectomy. Walking and moving around helps get the heart rate up and strengthens pelvic muscles. These activities also help relieve gas pains and constipation and help prevent a blood clot in your legs or lungs.
Taking care of your incisions, vaginal or abdominal, is extremely critical. Your doctor or the nurses in the hospital will demonstrate how to wash and care for your incision.
You must follow their instructions to ensure that the germs do not infect your incision. If it happens, you may have to take more medication to prevent the spread of infection, OR your doctor may have to reopen it and clean it – not very comfortable!
Healthy and Nutritious Food
After a major surgery, you may crave comfort foods. However, it is vital to eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies. They are the best fuel for your recovery. In most cases, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins like beans are the best food possible. Eating nutritious food will also help you prevent weight gain even when you are not very active physically.
Besides nutritious and healthy food, you must consume a lot of liquids to stay hydrated. Although water is always the best beverage to hydrate yourself, you may also take fresh, healthy juices like fruit juices like cranberry juice. Fluids are especially required because the antibiotics and pain medications you take post-surgery come with their potential side effects on your body.
You may get a big water bottle or jug. It will help you set a routine of consuming at least a specific amount of water. If you stay hydrated, you will avoid any potential issues and also expedite recovery. If you are drinking fruit juices, you should make sure that you have low sugar, fresh juices, and not the sugar-laden packaged ones.
As covered next in this article, you will be on pain medicines for a few days post-surgery. They may make you nauseous unless you take them between meals.
It is a good idea to keep easy-to-eat snacks such as apples, bananas, cereal bars, and peanut butter near you. In fact, you can keep a bottle of water, a fruit, and a cereal bar beside your bed.
So, if you need to take medication, you could have a snack before the medicine and wrap up the ritual with water right there without getting off your bed.
Overall, a healthy diet routine will ensure you get rid of constipation faster, keep your mood stable and positive, and have the energy to heal holistically.
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Control Pain With Prescribed Medications
For several weeks Post-hysterectomy, you may feel significant pain and soreness in your lower abdomen. To control your pain, your doctor will prescribe medication like Ibuprofen or Advil. You must ensure that you take them on time as specified. No following the routine may make it much longer for you to feel its effects.
You are strong, and while delivering babies, you have already borne the ultimate pain. You may think that you can handle the pain of hysterectomy as you delivered your children naturally without any no pain medicine. While you may well be right, the pain post-hysterectomy surgery may not be easy to handle, even for a supermom like you.
Moreover, if your body spends its energy fighting pain, it will spend less energy on your recovery, thereby elongating the recovery time. So, you must take the drugs to expedite your recovery. These will also help you stay in a drug-induced inertness for the first 24 hours after the surgery.
The hysterectomy is an invasive surgery, even if it is done laparoscopically. Post-surgery, you may experience painful/sore pelvic muscles and to shield those muscles you will have to undergo few internal and external stitches. On top of that, anesthesia, pain medication, and a reduced level of activity can slow down your bowel movements.
Constipation post-surgery can be very uncomfortable. It may be painful and could cause rips, leading to infections. It would help if you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink several glasses of water per day. To increase your activity level, you may get up and move around as and when you can. Learn the foods to avoid constipation.
Besides these natural therapies, your doctor may also recommend stool softeners and laxatives if she finds them necessary. Taking stool softeners will cause free bowel movements after the surgery.
Get Loose Dresses and Pants
To feel comfortable while recovering from pelvic surgery, you may need a few things. Post-surgery, you will get substantial swelling around your abdomen. In fact, you may feel, post-surgery, like a six months pregnant woman. It may take up to two to three months before you could wear jeans again.
A great example is the Hanes Women’s Fleece Pants.
These pants are made for women postpartum and after surgical procedures of Hysterectomy or C section. They have a super soft elastic and are stretchable to prevent any pain or irritation after use.
So, before you go for the surgery, ensure that you get a few pairs of loose stretchy dresses and pants to feel comfortable. You may also get your old maternity gowns to the hospital and continue to wear them for the next two months.
Besides, you should also get a few low-rise active briefs. These will not rub against incisions and keep them secure.
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Consider Getting Silicone Scar Sheets
These are silicone sheets meant for application on the scars created by the incision after surgical procedures like a C section or a hysterectomy. These silicone sheets prevent any itching and discomfort at the scars and help to soften the skin around that area. Their continued application helps remove the scars or make them less visible, smoother, and better.
Features and Benefits:
- No Scar treatment required – Generally, after the procedures which leave scars, patients go for scar treatment which can cost a lot compared to the silicone sheets. These sheets make the scar area very flat, smooth, and soft. It helps to remove the scar or make it less visible.
- Prevention of Itching and Discomfort –These silicone sheets help reduce tingling sensations and discomfort that come with these scars and help prevent redness.
- Dimensions and Weight: The silicone sheets have dimensions of around 3.75 x 1.5 x 6.25 inches with 0.32 ounces of weight.
- Easy application: These sheets are very easy to use. You can apply it regularly on the area having the scar or incision.
Why should you buy it?
These ScarAway silicone sheets are highly advisable for low-cost and effective scar treatment. These sheets are highly easy to use and potentially prevent any itching or irritation around the surgical area.
Many people wonder if these silicone scar sheets work for scars more than four years old. They might but they are best used on scars two years or less.
Get a Therapeutic Massage
Another side effect of hysterectomy surgery is gas pain, which may spread in your whole body. It moves to your jaw, neck, and shoulders. The best way to get relief is through a therapeutic massage. Your therapist will work on your jaw, neck, and upper back to get you rid of the gastric trouble, making you much more relaxed.
Entertain and Distract Yourself
As mentioned earlier, for a few days after the hysterectomy, you will on completely bed-rest. You may feel tired and sleep a lot for the first two days. However, after that, while you need to rest, you may not be sleeping the whole day. So, to avoid boredom, you may take the help of electronic entertainment, books, or activities.
While television and movies are always options, you may also play card games with your kids. If you love reading books, it might be the best time to finish a few of them.
However, a few of the hysterectomy patients may feel too exhausted to have the attention span to watch a 2-hr long movie. They may fall asleep halfway through any movie. If you are one of them, TV talkshows or your favorite series on a streaming platform will work best for you.
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Feel Something Wrong, Call the Hospital
While the hysterectomy is the second most common surgery, after the cesarean-section, for women, there can be complications sometimes.
You must keep the contact number of the hospital, your surgeon, and a local physician on your speed dial. You must call one of them right away if you feel fever, have difficulty breathing, unbearable pain, or uncontrollable bleeding.
You must not ignore it if you notice something wrong with your incision. If you try to show braveness here, it may delay your recovery or lead to an emergency. A quicker treatment for anything like this will ensure that you feel better sooner and avoid any complications.
Social and Emotional Support
Most of the women are in charge of their life and your home. They may feel uncomfortable seeking other’s help after the hysterectomy surgery, which restricts their mobility substantially. However, recovering from a hysterectomy requires social help and emotional support.
Sometimes we don’t realize that helping you may make other people feel good about themselves. So, do allow your loved ones, friends, and families to be part of your pain and recovery, bringing effects like mood swings, hot flashes, and difficulty sleeping, among others.
Also, you may feel uneasy or sad as your body is going through severe hormonal fluctuations. After ovaries are removed along with the uterus, one will begin menopause immediately. To deal with the hormonal changes, you should continue to work with your doctor and decide if you need hormone replacement therapy.
For that, it is a good idea to fix a session with a therapist. You may also reach out and talk to people in online support groups. Many women in these support groups may already have recovered from a hysterectomy. They will understand how you feel and show you to deal with things you are finding difficult to deal with.
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If you are wondering that is it necessary to buy all the above products after your hysterectomy surgery, the answer is, no. It is not necessary to buy all of them; however, it would be a good idea to buy as many as you can afford or see yourself using as they will help you do your things efficiently without anyone’s help.
In our opinion, the AltroCare 3 Panel, 9" high Postpartum Abdominal Binder, Stretches to fit 30" to 45" is one of the definite must haves after hysterectomy. It supports the abdomen and reduces pain after your surgery,
The rainbowstar Hysterectomy Tummy Pillow with Pocket for Cervical Cancer Abdominal Surgery Abdomen Healing Protector Hernia Repair Organ Transplants C-Section Recovery Support is our next best choice because it offers a great support system for your lower back.
Suppose you are looking for a value for money option. In that case, you can also consider the ScarAway Advanced Skincare Silicone Scar Sheets for C-Sections, Reusable Sheets (1.5” x 7”) for Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars from Injury, Burn, Surgery and more, 4 Sheets, which offers great value and features at a very reasonable price point.
In a nutshell, post-hysterectomy, you may have to adjust to the hormone changes in your body. The food, medication, rest, and exercises will help you expedite your recovery and lead to holistic healing.
While we make every effort to provide updated and correct information, the advice given in this article and website should not be construed as “medical advice.” Please consult with your physician or medical practitioner before using any products mentioned here. Each individual may have unique issues, and your medical practitioner is the best person to decide the must haves after hysterectomy surgery in your case.