My Big Top Tips for a Happy Hysterectomy – Diane’s Story

My experience around the whole thing has been very positive but then I did invest a lot of time and effort before the operation and that is my BIG TOP TIP for a happy hysterectomy. Prepare both physically and mentally beforehand.

Get as fit as you can before the event, invest in some excellent shoes for walking after the operation and get your friends motivated to take you out walking. I was up walking outside the hospital by day three and walking 30 minutes by day five. But then I did lots of gentle jogging and some weight training before that helped. I therefore didn’t get depressed I just went for a walk. By the end of six weeks I was walking three hours! Everyone gave me great encouragement to get walking, especially the nurses on the ward.

Get your mind around if you want any hormone replacement treatment, and if so what, again before the event. I decided on patches and was adamant I wanted them the day after the operation. They worked and I’ve felt fine since, although the dose did need to be raised.

I stocked up on DVDs to watch, books to read and projects to do. In the end I had too many but that’s better than being bored.

Bending is a problem so get a table next to where you intend to base yourself during the day – it’s yours for your stuff and absolutely no one, under pain of death, can put any of their trash on it.

The golden rules when you come home are REST, WATER and EXERCISE. Do this religiously, you can’t drink enough water, I’ve covered the exercise bit and as for the rest just don’t feel guilty. See it as a present for you to do your stuff, you’ll never get this luxury again.

Reflecting back, six months after the operation, which was a total abdominal hysterectomy for fibroids (two grapefruit size with numerous smaller ones) I don’t have any grips, everyone was fantastic and very supportive. However I was amazed how tired I felt. Be kind on yourself and don’t expect to be fully back to normal at six weeks. Six months later and I’m still amazed how tired I still feel.

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in my own words book coverNow available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.

Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.

15 comments

  1. hi I am 44 yrs old with a history of endometriosis for over 24 yrs n fibroids . I have extremely heavy bleeding and need transfusions at times. my dr. says that I should get my uterus n ovaries removed as the endometrium cyst present in it could become cancerous, even though I ve always had it. she said removal of uterus is optional. My main concern at the moment is heavy bleeding and not pain as it is manageable. when I read women’s reviews about hsyt I get so confused as to should I have it or not.
    I am specially worried about possible joint pain and abdominal discomfort.
    Any advice from your side?

  2. Hi Gillian, I am having a TAH on the 6th Dec. Following the consultation with the consultant I came out feeling elated and excited??? At the thought of an end to the pain, now though I am extremely, nervous and apprehensive but still wanting to go ahead. I think it is fear of the unknown, and after reading everything I possibly can about hysterectomies, recovery and returning to work etc I’m not sure I feel any more prepared.
    I work as a specialist Nurse, not a very physical job, I spend most of my day sitting and talking to patients but I really need my wits about me so that I can give them appropriate advice and information, I had originally told my manager I would need 4 to 6 weeks off but after reading everything on here I think it may need to be longer.
    I suppose the one good thing about having it done in December is that with Christmas just around the corner, TV should be ok, and my kids finish school for the hols so I will have company and someone to brew up for me.
    Well I feel like I have just rambled on and on but it feels good to express how I am feeling.
    Good luck Gillian I am sure we will be fine, take care

  3. Hi
    there this is my first look at hysterectomy on the internet. I am due one before christmas, so within 2.5 months. All I have heard is drink lots of water! I am a painter decorator so am very physically active now and intend to work on my core muscles up until surgery. But reading how long it has taken people to get back on their feet is suddenly worrying me – I work for myself and dont have tonnes of savings to fall back on :/ Am working as much as I can right now to put some money aside.
    I’m having my womb and fibroids removed keyhole style but hopefully ovaries and cervix left in. There are several fibroids, the biggest one is very big. I have been having so many bladder issues for a long time and have dislocated my back 3 times because of the pressure which has made work and life pretty hard. Also I am my mums only relative and she has dementia.. I am 150 miles from her so I do a fair bit of driving and support. This is scaring me too because I wont be as available but I need this operation so badly now. Desperately want these fibroids gone so I can get on with my life.
    I’ve never been in hospital overnight or anything and am starting to feel nervous about the surgery, prep, incisions, nurses 🙁 … Gynae said I will be only in hospital for one night then home. Happily my partner is moving in soon so that will help a bit with support during my recovery… I’m thinking ahead now after reading this post, going to move my bed into a cosy room downstairs room so I can get to the kitchen etc easier. I live in the country and it will be winter when I have the op. so I have been felling trees and filling the place with logs and doing all the stuff I usually do but with more urgency!! Thanks for the tip about having a table for only my stuff, that’s definitely going to work for me. And to have projects ready. Books, dvds, a journal, drawing book, laptop.. and I need to have logs of bones for the dog to gnaw on as I wont be romping about in the evenings. Gentle walking yes, hopefully very soon after. I have heard of women being up and about very quickly though not here! Maybe I am too late to join this thread and noone will reply but I feel a bit better for just getting this initial stuff out. Thanks for being out there! G

  4. If you’re at all worried then it’s always worth getting checked out by your GP.

  5. Hey, I had TAH 6 weeks ago, i started work again. I notice my foot became swollen, and spotting. There has been no pain since the surgery, but i feel an uncomfortness under my belly bottom. I have been sweeping and doing lots of little odd jobs around the house. Do you think there is any cause for concern? I went for my 6 weeks check up and was given the green light but i’m a little worried.

  6. Most women go back to work at between 9 and 13 weeks post abdominal hysterectomy – a little longer if they do a very physical job like yours.

  7. I am an housekeeper for a furniture store and I was suppose to go back to work after 2 months but with limitations. But I have already had an infections and i do a lot of mopping bending and vacumming so it there a certain time that I should go back I need to know

  8. You can usually tell if a wound is healing from the outside but pain may not be associated with the incision directly, it could be related to the muscles in the abdomen. If you are concerned you should see your GP for a checkup.

  9. Hi! I underwent tah bso last April 28, 2015 and this will be my 4th week since. My question is why up to now I still have pain on my incision & it still hurts a lot, I’m just wondering if my wound is healing inside since it hurts a lot. I’m just worried that it’s not healing much and I think its healing very slowly, why is this, pls help, thank you

  10. I am due to have a hysterectomy this month April 23rd, I have 6 fibrois and lots of other issues. Yes I am feeling very nervous.

  11. Hi I am due to have to total hysterectomy and oopherectomy on Monday. I am feeling nervous and worried about the recovery!

  12. Thank you, you have answered some of my questions, I am scheduled for the 20th Dec PM surgery, so will be in and out I hope before Christmas. I am now going to try and do abdominal exercises to strengthen my muscles . x

  13. Thankyou for your story. My hysterectomy was scheduled for the 28th of November but was cancelled yesterday due to the surgeon hurting his hand. So feeling a little deflated at the moment and waiting for my new op date for the 28th December. At leat I have a month more to be at my best health. Hope ur recovery is a speedy one. X

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