Healing from a Hysterectomy: How Long Does it Take?

In the United States, hysterectomies are one of the most commonly performed surgeries on women, second only to Caesarean sections. When you undergo a hysterectomy, you have a procedure that surgically removes your uterus. Sometimes, this surgery also removes other reproductive organs, like your ovaries, cervix, or Fallopian tubes. When you have a hysterectomy — even if you only lose your uterus — you can no longer menstruate or become pregnant. 

Our team at One Oak Medical understands that recovery from a hysterectomy is both physically and emotionally taxing. With six convenient locations throughout New Jersey and New York, we can help women of all ages get through this procedure every step of the way.

What to expect after your surgery

Dr. Aiman Shilad is an experienced OB/GYN and hysterectomy specialist who offers both traditional and minimally invasive procedures. Your surgical itself can take up to three hours, and we discharge each patient in our care based on their individual needs. Some women can go home the same day while others require a hospital stay for a day or two. 

No matter when the discharge takes place, we encourage each patient to get up and walk around as soon as possible to help recovery. Women who’ve had a hysterectomy also receive medication that helps prevent blood clots and eases pain after the procedure.

Physical care after a hysterectomy

When discharged from the hospital, you won’t be able to drive, so make sure you’ve lined up someone who can take you home. After you stop taking pain medication, which can impair judgment, you can drive yourself around — typically after about two weeks. 

Each day, you can also slowly increase your daily activity, depending on your pain level. In most cases, you can expect to resume normal activities in four to six weeks post-surgery. And you should also avoid having intercourse after surgery for six weeks.

As soon as you get home from the hospital, you can shower or bathe, but make sure you carefully wash the incision with soap and water. Most of the time, you won’t need a bandage or dressing over your incision, and the stitches will dissolve on their own. If you have staples instead of stitches, your doctor removes them, so be extra careful about keeping the area clean. 

You can use lotions or creams near the incision to relieve itching as the wound heals.

What to expect after a hysterectomy

If Dr. Shilad removes your ovaries during your surgery, you may experience menopause-like symptoms, including hot flashes and mood swings, as your body adjusts to hormonal changes. Don’t worry, though; Dr. Shilad prepares you for this part of your recovery before you leave the hospital.

If you have any of these symptoms after your hysterectomy, call our team right away:

Though you can face several challenges after a hysterectomy, there are a lot of positive benefits too, such as relief from bloating, bleeding, pelvic pain, and you can also have a higher libido.

The emotional aspect of a hysterectomy

It’s easy to focus on your body when you’re having a hysterectomy, but make sure to also take care of your mental and emotional state throughout the entire process. 

Many women experience fluctuating emotions leading up to, during, and after surgery. This is quite common, and you should know these feelings are completely normal. Rest assured, they usually pass quickly, and most women are happy with their decision to have the procedure. However, having a good support network for when you’re down — family, friends, a therapist — will definitely help.

If you have any questions or want to discuss scheduling a hysterectomy, contact one of our convenient locations by calling or requesting an appointment online today.

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