Things to Follow After Hysterectomy Surgery - Post-Operative Care

hysterectomy procedure

Recovering after a hysterectomy is a personal journey, mixing the physical bounce-back with a swirl of feelings that might leave you a bit tangled up. While maybe you're relieved to be free from hysterectomy pain, there is also a sense of changes in your reproductive system and body. To make things complex, women often go through this without much information beyond the basics of taking care of their wounds. No wonder it feels like a lot to handle.

This guide is here to help, giving you the lowdown on what to expect during hysterectomy recovery. From managing pain and understanding activity restrictions to embracing self-care practices, we will probe the critical aspects that make the after-hysterectomy healing process smoother.

Tips to Ease Recovery After Hysterectomy Surgery

The following recovery tips are essential for a smoother healing process after hysterectomy surgery. However, individual experiences vary, and it's crucial to consult your healthcare provider for personalised advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs and condition.

Dietary Changes:

Taking proper nutrition for post-hysterectomy recovery. A well-balanced diet, adequate protein, fruits, and vegetables, ease the healing process. Hydration, with 8-10 glasses of fluids daily, is crucial. For those with cardiac concerns or constipation, consult a dietician for personalised dietary advice is recommended.

Physical Activities:

Light exercise, such as walking and stretching, expedite the recovery. Gradually reintroduce activities like climbing stairs and taking breaks to rest if tired. However, heavy lifting should be avoided for a minimum of six weeks post-surgery to prevent strain, promote healing and consider the best light exercise precautions after removal of the uterus.

Sexual Activity:

A crucial aspect of post-hysterectomy recovery is refraining from any form of vaginal penetration, including tampons and sexual activity. This precaution is typically advised for eight weeks to allow for optimal healing and reduced risk of complications.

Incision Care/Hygiene:

Proper care of the surgical incision is vital for preventing infections and promoting healing. Maintain cleanliness by washing the incision daily with warm water and mild soap. Regularly check for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, drainage, or wound opening. If drains are present, adhere to proper cleaning techniques during sponge baths or showers.


Timely and consistent medication management is crucial for pain control during the recovery phase. Taking prescribed pain medication preemptively for precautions after removal of the uterus, especially before engaging in increased activity, can effectively manage discomfort. Be aware of potential side effects such as constipation and take necessary measures, including increased fluid intake and stool softeners.

Bowel Functions:

Understanding and addressing bowel function post-surgery is a critical aspect of recovery. Expect the first bowel movement 4-5 days post-surgery and manage potential gas pain with hot liquids and walking. Stool softeners and mild laxatives may be necessary until hysterectomy pain medication is discontinued.

Body Changes:

Anticipate and understand the changes in the body post-hysterectomy. Vaginal discharge may persist for up to eight weeks and a temporary increase in bleeding for 24 hours. While bleeding is normal, any persistent or excessive heavy bleeding should prompt immediate consultation with healthcare professionals for appropriate intervention and precautions after removal of the uterus.

How Long Do Women Need to Stay in the Hospital After Hysterectomy?

After a hysterectomy, the duration of your hospital is based on the type of procedure undergone.

  • Abdominal Hysterectomy:

Most women stay in the hospital for about 3-5 days following an abdominal hysterectomy. The extended stay allows for monitoring and initial recovery.

  • Vaginal or Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH):

For a vaginal or LAVH, women are typically discharged sooner, often within 1-4 days after the surgery. The less invasive nature of these procedures contributes to a shorter hospital stay.

  • Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH):

Similar to vaginal procedures, LSH allows for a shorter hospital stay, often within 1-2 days.

  • Robotic Hysterectomy:

In cases where a robotic hysterectomy is performed, women may be discharged the next day.

Does Hysterectomy Cause a Lot of Postoperative Pain?

Opting for a laparoscopic or vaginal hysterectomy generally results in less Hysterectomy pain discomfort compared to an abdominal procedure. Physicians commonly prescribe narcotics for the initial 24 hours, extending if needed, and introduce NSAIDs like ibuprofen from the second day to manage pain effectively. The persistent post-hysterectomy pain is correlated with pre-operative pelvic pain, fibromyalgia existing before the surgery, acute post-operative pain, psychological aspects anxiety and depression.

Consider the following steps to address and minimise the risk of chronic pain proactively:

Preoperative Discussion:

  • Have a detailed discussion with your surgeon or a pain management specialist before the surgery.
  • Share any history of preoperative pelvic pain, fibromyalgia, or other chronic pain conditions.
  • Discuss your concerns, expectations, and any past experiences with pain.

Risk Identification:

  • Engage with your healthcare to identify potential risk factors for chronic pain based on your medical history and current health status.
  • Underline any psychological factors, such as anxiety or depression, that can impact pain perception.

Postoperative Monitoring:

  • Establish a postoperative plan for pain monitoring and management.
  • Communicate with your doctor to address any concerns or changes in pain levels promptly.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Hysterectomy Fully?

The post-hysterectomy is diverse and influenced by the procedure and individual health factors. Here's a breakdown of hysterectomy recovery time for different types:

Vaginal Hysterectomy:

After a vaginal hysterectomy, individuals can perform normal activities within 2-4 weeks. It includes resuming daily routines and tasks. Returning to work is usually achievable within 4-6 weeks. The less invasive procedure makes the recovery swifter compared to other methods.

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy:

Hysterectomy recovery time from a laparoscopic hysterectomy allows individuals to return to normal activities within 2-4 weeks. The hysterectomy recovery time for returning to work is within 4-6 weeks. The minimally invasive approach of laparoscopic surgery aids in a quicker recovery compared to abdominal procedures.

Abdominal Hysterectomy:

Hysterectomy recovery time after an abdominal hysterectomy is a bit more. Returning to normal activities take 4-6 weeks, and resuming work could extend to 6-8 weeks. The longer recovery period is linked to the procedure's more extensive nature. Patience and adherence to post-operative guidelines are essential during this phase.


Hysterectomy recovery is not just about restoring physical well-being; it's a profound course of self-discovery and revitalisation. Beyond the prescribed timelines and practical tips, it's essential to honour the emotional layers that may accompany this transformative experience. Whether it's relief from pain after hysterectomy, a sense of loss, or the joy of newfound freedom, give yourself the space to feel and heal and don't hesitate to consult your healthcare provider for personalised support along the way.