The length of time it takes to recover will be different for every woman. It can take a couple of months to recover fully. Most women find they are able to return to work between four and eight weeks after the operation.
If you had a keyhole procedure, you will probably be able to return to your usual activities sooner than if you had open surgery. The type of surgery will depend on individual circumstances which will be discussed in full at your consultation.
You may have some abdominal or back pain for a few weeks after your operation. If you need pain relief, you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Always read the patient information that comes with your medicine and if you have any questions, ask your pharmacist for advice.
Following surgery you should take it easy for a few days. It is common to feel more tired than usual so rest is recommended. Our physiotherapists may have given you exercises to do, try to continue with these. Do not lift any heavy items but lighter items can be lifted i.e. a kettle. We recommend that a friend or relative stay with you for the first few days while you recover.
What are the risks?
As with every type of surgical procedure, there are some risks associated with an abdominal hysterectomy. Risks are specific to you and will be discussed at your consultation.
Side-effects of an abdominal hysterectomy include:
- pain, swelling and bruising in your abdomen
- bleeding or blood-stained vaginal discharge
- numbness, tingling or a burning sensation around your scar
If your ovaries have been removed during the operation, you will have menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. Your Consultant will discuss this with you and help offer advice.
You will also have a permanently visible scar – this will be red and slightly raised to start with, but should soften and fade over time. This will usually settle down after about six to 12 months.
Complications are rare but possible complications of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot, usually in a vein in the leg (deep vein thrombosis, DVT).
Specific complications of an abdominal hysterectomy may include:
- Blood loss. You may need further treatment, such as a second operation, to stop the bleeding.
- Damage to other organs and tissues in your abdomen, particularly your bowel, bladder and ureters (the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder). This can cause incontinence or a need to urinate frequently.
- A wound or urinary infection. You will need to take antibiotics to treat this.
- Premature ovarian failure. There is a risk that your ovaries won’t work properly because they receive some of their blood supply through the womb.
- A blood clot. These develop most commonly in the leg
At Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast we endeavour to provide patients with a Five Star service and state-of-the-art facilities. We ensure you are in the best hands available.
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