Hysterectomy recovery

Hi, I have my surgery coming up for a radical hysterectomy through my abdomen rather than keyhole. I know everyone is different and so recovery is different for each person but I’m looking for a bit of a clearer idea of what recovery is like.

I know I won’t be able to bend or lift for a while but that’s all I know really and I’m changing my house and moving things around so that I can avoid those things and I have grabbing stick from when I broke my leg too.

I (very happily) live by myself so my dad, brother and me are planning when they come stay with me. Will I need someone with me all the time? Or just for the first few days? I have volunteers chores so I’m not worried about that.

Any help will be appreciated!



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@EmJ85 Hello my lovely! I hope you’re well. I havent had a hysterectomy and dont think I will.

Didnt want to read and run…

I think if you look on threads on the Cervical Cancer Treatment section and scroll through you’ll find lots of posts about it that should be of great help to you xxxx

Hi Em

I had my abdominal hysterectomy last year and even though I had my partner with me I wanted to be very independent.
I found getting out of bed a struggle as my bed was very low down, I put 2 mattresses on top of each other (well my partner did as I was in no shape to carry a mattress) which helped massively. In the hospital they have a handle above you which I used all the time but when you get home, no handle!
I got up 4 flights of stairs after the hospital to my flat so everything is doable it just takes a lot longer. I could make food and drinks. Another thing I found difficult was getting in and out of the shower (I had a shower over a bath) so had to buy some steps to climb up to get my leg over. I also found it difficult keeping my scar bandage dry whilst showering. You won’t need people with you all the time but it’ll be handy to have them to make you food and pick stuff up for you. I didn’t realise how much stuff I dropped over the floor.
I can’t stress this enough but get foods in that help with conspitation, that was worse than anything.
Good luck


Doctors say that after a hysterectomy, acute processes in the body go up to one and a half years after the operation. Recovery is not fast.

I had an operation in November 2020.

The first month after the operation, I did not feel the perineum. I couldn’t urinate on my own. Foley’s catheter was standing for almost two months. But in others, urination was improved much faster.

There was also a strong numbness of the upper thighs. Until March 2021, numbness did not allow me to run - literally a couple of steps and my legs began to stumble, I could barely hold myself so as not to fall. Now there are areas of numbness, but they are not significant and do not affect the motor function.

The intestines have just started to work normally. Before that, different types of laxatives did not help much. The first three months after the operation, there was fecal incontinence. Feces then fell out in small portions, then did not come out. By April, the fecal incontinence was gone, but the constipation was in no hurry to leave me. Candles also did not help, because the feces did not fall below the level where the uterus was. There was some kind of paralysis in this part of the intestine.

Since the beginning of August, there has been defecation every day. Around the same time, it became much easier to empty the bladder. There is almost no need to push and make efforts to empty the bladder.

Some significant improvements in the functioning of the bladder and intestines began in May (five months after the operation). By this time, it was already possible to use candles to ease the emptying of the intestines.

In the eighth month after the operation, the functions of the intestines and bladder significantly recovered spontaneously. Just at one point, everything became dramatically much better.

I was prescribed an Omnik to restore the function of the bladder… but the improvements were not very significant. The pressure of urine became stronger after taking the drug. But the urine had to be squeezed out of itself, working with the muscles of the pelvis and the press. Gradually, it was necessary to make less and less effort to empty the bladder. During this September, there began to appear moments when urination begins as before the operation. That is, without delaying the start of urination and without making any effort so that the urine stream is not interrupted.

As for bowel function, the first significant improvement was in July. after I ate the apricots. Preparations with apricot fiber did not help me before.

One of the unpleasant moments is the lack of urge to urinate. I go to the toilet by the hour. But now I definitely feel that my bladder is full. These are not urges. It’s like the feeling when you wake up at night with the understanding that the bladder needs to be emptied. Other girls have recovered the urge to urinate, but this is a different feeling, not like before the operation. Some people had the urge to urinate 15-17 months after the operation. For the first time after the operation, my urination was like a leak. Also, the internal alarm clock did not turn on when the bladder was too full at night. There were no accidents, but in the morning 750 or more milliliters of urine came out. There were also episodes, three times during the whole time, when the bladder suddenly began to empty itself abruptly, but easily and naturally. The same story was with the emptying of the intestines. At night, I woke up a couple of times from the fact that my intestines began to empty easily and cheerfully. And with well-formed feces. Although he forgot about this skill all the time during the day.

Now only fear affects the quality of life. It is especially intensified before screening as part of postoperative follow-up. I started taking soft herbal sedatives and everything is much better in the psychological sphere now. The disadvantage of these sedatives is that they have a cumulative effect and do not begin to act immediately. As my doctor said, stress negatively affects the level of magnesium and other elements in the body. Stress also negatively affects the work of internal organs. Therefore, it is necessary to pay no less attention to the psychological state and correctly correct negative manifestations.

Libido is preserved. If it seems that there is no libido - in fact, you need to adjust the level of anxiety or treat depression. As my doctor says, the problem with anxiety in patients is more significant than the problem of bladder dysfunction, in fact.

Many of the side effects that are bothering you now will definitely pass. The main thing is patience and a positive attitude.

Hi Betsy,

Thank you for your reply. I have now had my surgery ( last Tuesday) and unfortunately there was a complication with my bowel which has been absolute torture with pain and my anaesthesiologist has been by every day to try and figure out a cocktail of painkillers that will work. It seems to have finally resolved. I’m still in alot of pain but it’s just about manageable. I’ve managed to walk a few steps on my own and sit in a chair for a few hours. I still have a catheter in which I’m finding very grim but necessary unfortunately. I am missing any kind of handle above my bed so I’m having to figure out some kind of weird side shuffle manoeuvre to get out of bed. I’m really hoping I can go home soon, I think I’ll be better off in my own bed and getting some sleep!!x

Do they say how long your pain will last?
I’m sorry there was a complication.
Sleeping in your own bed will help as you won’t have those bloody horrible leg puffing things making the noise through the night, I don’t know how you are supposed to get any sleep with those on, which doesn’t help your recovery.

I was actually dreading having the catheter but it’s a god send in the first few days as there’s no way you could get out of bed every time you wanted to pee. I went home with mine and its amazing how quick you get used to sitting next to your bag of pee on the sofa. I had to go back in after 10 days for them to take it out and do the pee test (you need to drink lots of water then they measure the pee that comes out compared to the pee left in your bladder which was pretty stressful as I didn’t want to back in)

I know everyone says this but you’ve got this, you’ve done the hardest part and dealt with thr bowel complication. It’s going to get better from here.
How’s your constipation?

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I’ve seen my consultant this morning and he’s happy for me to go home!! Clips and catheter have both come out now. I’ve seen physio and they’re happy that I can shuffle a few steps and I managed to walk up/ down for steps too. I’m not waiting on this pee test! It’s so nerve-wracking! I’ve done my three and they haven’t said anything at all about it. They said they’ll do a bladder scan too and make sure it’s emptying itself and they’re sorting out pain relief to take home. I’m really hoping I can definitely go because this has been awful. They’re not able to any more about pain other than it’ll improve and it definitely has been over the past couple of days xx


You’ll be so much better off in your own bed! Home comforts make all the difference. Wishing you a speedy recovery x


My doctor told me that it is important to lead a feasible active lifestyle after surgery. The next day after the operation, I was already forced to walk around the ward. A little, but several times a day to walk around. This is necessary for the work of the gastrointestinal tract, the prevention of thromboembolic complications, etc.

Be sure to wear a bandage on your stomach when you get out of bed. Constantly lying in bed was not recommended.

After the doctor allowed it, it was necessary to do light exercises for the abdominal and pelvic muscles. Recovery after a radical hysterectomy is not a quick process. Lack of mobility negatively affects, among other things, the musculoskeletal system.

Thanks X ray, I’m a few days behind in recovery now due to experiencing a complication straight after surgery ( as in I’d been awake a bare few minutes and so there was no opportunity to be up and about at that point). I am not lying in bed all day at all, I am lying in my own bed at nighttime and I’m sat in my own bedroom because it’s my favourite part of my own house. I have a list of physio exercises which I am religiously completing everyday and I am taking myself for walks around my house which my physio team have advised as the best thing for me to do.


Hi, EmJ85! In the first three months after the operation, I was sluggish, although I tried to make a feasible active lifestyle. Probably, the horse doses of antibiotics also affected. 10 months after the operation, you already remember some complications, as if they did not exist. Bad things are forgotten. Although there are periods of anxiety, but they can be stopped.

Girls, don’t worry. After the operation, your physical condition will definitely improve significantly.

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Hi xRay! Thank you for your reply. I can relate to this! I feel very sluggish and tired but I am trying to get myself moving around. I can see the improvements everyday. The trauma of the hospital stay is already moving into the past in my mind and I am much more relaxed and comfortable at home. I just need to continue improving as I am and at my check up I’ll be told if I’ll be having any more treatment.

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