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Allow 6 months for recovery

on July 15, 2014

From the beginning of this, I’ve been given very little relevant information on what to expect.  In fact, I’ve been lead to believe that you can recover from a full abdominal hysterectomy quite quickly if you are good.  Sure – you can be up and normal between 4 and 8 weeks.  Generally I do recover quickly from things, but this has completely wiped me out.  I have the additional complication of second major surgery within 2 days of the operation, but even taking that out, every professional I’ve seen since my operation and initial Consultation has told me not to expect too much before 6 months.

When the lumps appeared on my side from the drainage tubes, the nursing staff there told me to allow 6 months to 1 year for everything to settle down.  Yesterday I had a check up appointment, and the Doctor there told me that they allow 6-8 weeks for recovery, but recovery is actually around 6 months due to the severity of the operation and all the internal healing that has to take place.  I was told not to expect to be able to stand up, sit down, move about without being reminded every time I move that I’ve had major surgery.  The second operation has caused trauma sites, which is to be expected as you’ve been opened up and things moved around internally twice.  This could add to my healing time.

The hystersisters site is very good, as the women on there have all experienced whichever operation you have.   The site is split into areas for Total Hysterectomy, Da Vinci Robot Hysterectomy, Partial, Keyhole, etc.  You can ask question from people that have been through what you are going through.  The common one that comes up for Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy (TAH and BSO), is “Why am I still feeling pain around 6 months”.  The site has video diaries throughout the first 6 weeks, and although the 6-8 week seems to be universal, they do stipulate on there over and over again that it can take up to a year to fully recover.

I expected too much from myself because I was lead to believe that after 6-8 weeks that’s it – you are normal again.  I think that a lot of the depression that women feel during this time (alongside major operation and severe hormone changes of course), is due to the fact that they aren’t recovering as well as they thought they would.  If I had been told that by the end of 6-8 weeks we expect you to be able to walk around, go swimming, have a bath, drive a car, start being able to exercise again, but for all pain, pulling, internal healing, your insides settling back down and complete recovery, it could take over 6 months, then I wouldn’t have expected so much during the first few weeks.  In the UK we don’t have any follow up appointments either.  From the day we leave the hospital, that’s it – we have no more contact or visits with our Consultant, any questions are directly to whichever GP has an appointment for you to see (with around 2 weeks waiting time for that appointment).

If anyone finds this blog and is about to go through a hysterectomy, or had just had one – then please do not push yourself or expect too much from yourself.  You will be able to lead a normal life within 6-8 weeks (driving, getting out and about), BUT you will not fully recover from your operation in this time, you need to allow yourself up to a year to fully heal, and by around 6 months you should stop being reminded every time you move, that you have had major surgery.  I hope!!!


One response to “Allow 6 months for recovery

  1. kecrees69 says:

    Thank you!!! I was told 4-6 weeks and then I’d be magically normal again. Now I know why after just one week I’m still hurting badly, have all sorts of other issues (bathroom related) and my Mom just doesn’t believe I can’t be out and walking a mile with her every day live we were before surgery. I think I’m going to give her a few links to some of these blogs (including yours) to show her what’s what!!
    Thank you so much for your post!

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