Hysterectomy

  1. Here's a question for all of you OB-GYN nurses, as well as anyone who's gone through a hysterectomy: How long does it REALLY take to get back to normal after the surgery? I'm probably going to have it done sometime in the next 60 days and I will need to go back to work ASAP, but I'm told it may take as long as 4-8 weeks before I'll be able to do so.

    Due to our finances, such a long layoff is NOT an option. I'm 44 and considerably overweight, but I take vitamins and am generally fairly healthy except for some HTN, which is controlled with meds. It took me a full 10 days to feel normal after a laser surgery for kidney stones last year, but overall I tend to heal quickly. I do need the surgery---I have frequent pelvic pain due to fibroids and I bleed more or less all the time, although I'm no longer anemic thanks to large doses of iron.

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions as to how to shorten the recovery time? (Other than losing about 100# in 2 months, which is physically impossible.) THANX!!

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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   prmenrs
    I had one ~ 12 years ago. Very happy about it, too. I had it done under an epidural so that I did not have to be intubated. I was overweight, but did not have hypertension @ that time. I banked 2 units of my own blood.

    I was out for 8 wks, and @ 6 1/2 wks, I called the doc to ask her when I was going to feel human again. She said, "There's a REASON I gave you 8 wks of disability!!" Silly me, I thought I could have some fun during the last part of it. As it was, I was just barely ready to go back to work when I had to.

    Count on 8 weeks. Your body will need that time to heal. Start taking a multivit if you don't already, and at least 1000mg of vit C (divide the dose) to help with wound healing.
  4. by   renerian
    Had one done in 99 for a uterus that was 75% fibroid. Very painful could not take it anymore. Six weeks I was off. My insurance company wanted to do it outpatient-I and my dr. fought for 1 night stay. Ended up with 2 night as I bled so much and my Hemoglobin dropped to 8. They did vaginal approach but my one ovary was adhered to the front of my abdomenal wall so one ovary came out of the hole in the front of my abdomenal wall where they make the slits to inflate the abdomen. I gained 10 pounds during the surgery from IV fluid. My legs were like logs. I was in alot of pain the first 24 hours but the PCA pump helped alot. I heal quickly. Was out of bed within 8 hours after surgery. I was out of for quite a while I hear LOL.

    I can say, being frank, the change in libido really surprised me. I have less interest in "relationships" LOL even though I am on hormones of which it has been three years and the dr. is going to take me off soon. I am not ready for the hot flashes as I get them now.

    Does this help?

    renerian
  5. by   renerian
    Shoot had to respond so I could resubscribe to this thread as I accidently unsubscribed LOL.

    renerian
  6. by   BadBird
    This past summer I had a hysterectomy, I did wait 8 weeks before I went back to work but I felt better much sooner. Please check out a wonderful web site that I found, Hystersisters.com there is so much information and support there. Good luck.
  7. by   Brownms46
    I had one, and I would also advise you to check out the above site reccomended. I found the site very helpful in reading other women's account of their inpending surgery, and recovery. Very supportive site.

    I was out for 6 weeks, and I'm was much older than you when I had mine done, also d/t fibroids. I did have a problem with BP elevation while in recovery, but was a one time event. I even moved about three weeks into recovery, and probably came back too early to work. But hey we do what we have to do. I know I did too much waaay before I should have, but no real harm done, as I could tell. I felt one hundred percent better, and lost a lot of weight! Had to buy new clothes...:chuckle! I have lost no interest in relationships, and feel I got a new lease on life! That is after I got over the hot flashes, I thought were gong to drive me crazy!!! I took depo injections to stop my menses to help me hold out until I was ready to have the surgery. My GYN was pretty scared for me, but I maanged to do things my way....:chuckle I guess my being so stubborn paid off for once...

    I must add that I had my ovaries left intact, which probably accounts for my continued interest in relationships, and I only had a subtotal Abd Hys. Meaning my cervix was left to prevent a freq complication of having the bladder prolaspe, and other complications. Which means I still have to have paps, but I felt it was worth it not to have a problem that occurs too freguently in some woman.
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Dec 21, '02
  8. by   BBnurse34
    Is your doc planning an ab hyst or vag hyst? It makes a difference in recovery time.
  9. by   nursedawn67
    I had my hysterectomy back in 1991 and I seem to remember it took me about 6 weeks to get back to normal.
  10. by   BellaTerra2002
    I also think it makes a big difference as to if you have a vag or an ab. I had an vag, over 20 years ago (when I was 30 -- I think age makes a difference also), and I was not only out of the hospital but I was shopping for groceries and climbing stairs (with the bags) in a week. However, I WANTED my surgery done; I could hardly wait.

    My friend watched me recover and decided it wouldn't be so horrible to have one, but she really didn't want one; she just didn't have a choice. Three months later she was still padding the house in her robe and slippers. So I think our attitude matters a great deal also.

    Oh, I just remembered: a physically fit coworker had an ab two years ago, and she was back to work in 6 weeks. However, she really didn't want it done (she also had no choice), and it took her a year to really recover. She couldn't sleep well and 'just didn't feel well'. However, when her doctor changed her over from Premarin to Tri-estrogen, she felt very good in no time.

    So there's just a lot to take into consideration: what kind, our age, our attitude, our physical health, our doctors. I would suppose everyone reacts differently.

    Not trying to scare you. Just trying to give you what I know.

    I wish you well. I have never regretted having my hysterectomy, even though I know it would have been better to not have had one if at all possible. I have NO DOUBT that it contributed to my spiral into severe depression, a few years later. HOWEVER, I had always had problems with mild, chronic depression AND it was five years after my hysterectomy before any doctor put me on hormones. (I wanted to sue that doctor for malpractice.) And I STILL am glad I had my hysterectomy. A year after my hysterectomy I felt like a new woman, physically.

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