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Recovery after Hysterectomy
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Hello ladies, My wife is having a hysterectomy in a couple weeks for endometriosis. Would anybody be willing to post their recovery stories or any info on how the experience was? Or maybe have had some friends go through it?

Thanks in advance!

CB

CB
Physical Therapist/Endurance Coach
http://www.cadencept.net
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Re: Recovery after Hysterectomy [PTinAZ] [ In reply to ]
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I had a hysterectomy for the same reasons 10 years ago. I was not triathlete then, but can tell you what I know. Her recovery period can depend on a number of things. If they do a vaginal hysterectomy. Her recovery will be a bit quicker. I had a hysterectomy that required an incision on my lower abdomen, so I can only speak to that.

It was incredibly painful for the first few days..the external incision site and the interior stitches. Walking was very painful. Driving was almost impossible for 5-6 Days because even pushing the gas pedal requires abdominal muscles. After the first week, healing began rapidly. Walking down hill or down steps was still painful, but otherwise things progressed well. Bike riding didn't happen for several months because of the abdominal pull. Stabbing pains from scar tissue being stretched happened for about 8-10 months.

All that being said, it was the best thing I ever did. Well worth it. If she has a vaginal hysterectomy, it ,may be a completely different recovery.

Long term...she may find herself going into menopause a little earlier, but low dose estrogen fixes that right up with no side effects that I've experienced.

Kudos to you for caring enough to ask.

~Annie~
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Re: Recovery after Hysterectomy [Annie] [ In reply to ]
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Laparoscopic?

I had a big cyst removed three weeks ago laparoscopically via robot. Just the growth came out, luckily, no ovaries or uterus. The recovery has been remarkably smooth. No reaction to anesthesia---some people are nauseated or feel out of it for a few days. Poor appetite for a few days, so I felt weak from not eating much. When my appetite came back I felt good again. My biggest problem was shoulder pain(!) from the gas used to pump up my stomach. The left over gas has to come out somehow, and until it slowly leaks out, it pushes against the phrenic nerve and causes intense shoulder pain. The gas was mostly out after the third day.

My incisions are tiny and don't bother me much. I walked and did yoga at day five, ran and swam two weeks after surgery. I am not yet lifting, but will be in another week.

Friends who had hysterectomies this way, not just growths removed, warned me I'd feel really really good ten to fourteen days out but to be careful because my insides would still be healing. I could go run, but would crash hard if I did too much. I have found that to be true.

Everyone is different. If your wife has a bad time with the anesthesia, her recovery could take longer. If she has open surgery, it will be a tougher recovery. If she has more parts removed, and her bladder and/or bowel gets jostled, she may take longer to bounce back.

Hysterectomies can be done a variety of ways including laparoscopically via robot. Ask your doctor what makes the most sense for your wife's situation. Minimally invasive makes for a quicker recovery, but it isn't alway an option.
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Re: Recovery after Hysterectomy [PTinAZ] [ In reply to ]
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What type?

I also had the laprascopic version. Walking a lot first, then some easy trainer rides, then riding outside. Actually swimming took nearly as long as running because of being so stretched out. I was pretty much fully recovered in 3.5 months and went to a Tour de France trip and rode daily x 10 days.

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: Recovery after Hysterectomy [trackie clm] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks ladies. Much appreciated. She is having the "bikini cut" full hysterectomy. Doc is saying 6 weeks of no work. 2 days in the hospital

CB
Physical Therapist/Endurance Coach
http://www.cadencept.net
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Re: Recovery after Hysterectomy [PTinAZ] [ In reply to ]
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Check the robot procedures, even with a "cut" -- C section type. My case was rather complicated with the endometriosis - many organs stuck together from previous C section scar tissue. I was back training in 2.5 months. Two other things to keep in mind: 1). Save 1 ovary. It can be tied onto something - a ligament. 2). Take the cervix out too. Might as well eliminate any potential monthly bleeding. Good luck and wishing a speedy recovery.
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Re: Recovery after Hysterectomy [PTinAZ] [ In reply to ]
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PTinAZ wrote:
Hello ladies, My wife is having a hysterectomy in a couple weeks for endometriosis. Would anybody be willing to post their recovery stories or any info on how the experience was? Or maybe have had some friends go through it?

Thanks in advance!

CB

Hi - I found this thread in a google search and thought I would chip in - firstly, my username here gives you a clue that I'm an unfit person so your wife's experience may be quite different to mine. Also, I was 61 at the date of operation and that too will make a difference.

I had an abdominal hysterectomy two years ago on the 25th January. (I'll never forget 'cos I missed my haggis and neeps - just got toast that evening.) The operation in my case was as a result of a diagnosis of polyps which turned out to be cancerous. The day after my operation, I was given the diagnosis of stage 1b cancer which required chemo and radiotherapy.

The operation itself went really well; the last painkiller I took was on the morning after the operation - because while my abdomen was tender and it was awkward to move, I wasn't in pain. Many women experience it like this - although obviously it differs from person to person. I was pleased to get the staples out a few days later at home (district nurse attended to do this)

I was told to do nothing and lift nothing for 12 weeks (probably an age related thing) but I was well warned that doing too much too early could open my wound and cause lots of problems. Also, because I'm a total dill when it comes to anaesthetics - I felt really tired for ages 8-) I was told to lift nothing heavier than a cup of tea and I stuck to that for several weeks and then gradually started doing more. So, for once in my life, because I did as I was told, I had a good recovery. (My niece, who had a baby by C-section, did too much too early, opened her wound and then got an infection which took ages to clear up so keeping the wound healing well is imperative.)

We did several things to prepare for me being out of action; by chance, we had upgraded our downstairs bathroom to have a walk-in shower. Then, because we had a spare corner, we brought a bed downstairs for the first couple of weeks as well - possibly a bit excessive but it was much appreciated by me. Hubby was out at work during the day and because we life in a rural spot, it meant I could heat up a cup of soup and make some toast without having to negotiate a tricky staircase. We also have a comfy recliner chair which let me snooze in comfort :)

Peppermint tea is great for helping dispose of the after-op wind problem. The other issue for me was a requirement for Sennokot (or similar) to get things moving. Some women have issues with sudden, medically induced menopause and take HRT but her consultant will keep her right on that.

I really hope your wife's operation goes well and that it clears up her problems with the endometriosis. If she's anxious, I know that there are support groups on the web for women having a hysterectomy and I joined a private facebook group form women who have womb cancer and consequently a hysterectomy.

Best
Margaret
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Re: Recovery after Hysterectomy [PTinAZ] [ In reply to ]
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I know this initial post is from a few years ago so I am curious to find out how her recovery & return to Tri training went post hyster.
I will be having a full hyster but with a new procedure called "dual port" offered by the Center for Innovative GYN care in the D.C. area. My GYN had the procedure done herself-she is a runner and swears by it due to the fast recovery time! She told me she was running within 2 weeks. So for any of you out there interested, I'll let you know how it goes post op. Fingers crossed I can report an easy recovery and return to Tri training!
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Re: Recovery after Hysterectomy [bsfallon] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, please do report back. If the ablation doesn't work this would be next for me. Good luck!
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Re: Recovery after Hysterectomy [RunLemur] [ In reply to ]
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Hi there! Here is my post complete hyster report. I am now 2 months out from the hyster.

1. I went home on the same day as my surgery.
2. I was walking up to a mile within 48 hours post surgery, and was encouraged to be as active as I could be as soon as I was comfortable to do so (within reason).
3. I walked up to 3 miles after 1 week.
4. I ran just before the 3 week mark.
5. I was cycling at 4 weeks post op.
6. Swimming after 6 weeks, exactly, with no issues.
7. Won 1st place for my AG in an Oly distance at 8 weeks out.

Women are all different. Not all women need a complete hysterectomy. In my case, it was the best decision I've made about my healthcare in a very long time. I did not realize just how much the dysfunction of my ovaries and uterus were effecting many of my bodily functions.

I was able to change my IM date from July 23 (Lake Placid) to Oct 7 in Maryland without a problem.

No doubt, I am now in complete menopause. Got the patch for estrogen (Clemara), working through the hot flashes, etc. TBH, for the 8 weeks without HRT I was quite content, even dealing with the meno symptoms. But, since HRT was recommended for me for future cardio health I am now going for a super low dose patch, giving it a try.

Moral of the story--a hysterectomy does not have to be the end of your triathlon years! If you find a fantastic surgeon (Center for Innovative Gyn Care in my case) you can be up and training again without much of a break.

Good luck to those of you considering a hyster. It's not the end of the world, just an inconvenience for a few weeks!
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