Hysterectomy - Recovery 

Recovering from a hysterectomy 

After having a hysterectomy, you may wake up feeling tired and in some pain. This experience is normal after this type of surgery.

You will be given painkillers to help reduce any pain and discomfort. If you feel sick after the anaesthetic, your nurse will be able to give you medicine to help relieve this.

You may have a drip in your arm and a catheter (a small tube that drains urine from your bladder into a collection bag).

If you had an abdominal hysterectomy, you may also have a drainage tube in your abdomen to take away any blood from beneath your wound. These tubes will usually stay in place for one to two days.

Dressings will be placed over your wounds. If you have had a vaginal hysterectomy, you may have a gauze pack inserted into your vagina.

This is to minimise the risk of any bleeding after the operation and will usually stay in place for 24 hours. You may find it slightly uncomfortable and feel like you need to empty your bowels (do a poo).

The day after your operation, you will be encouraged to take a short walk. This helps your blood to flow normally, reducing the risk of complications developing, such as blood clots in your legs (deep vein thrombosis).

physiotherapist may show you how to do some exercises to help your mobility. They may also show you some pelvic floor muscle exercises to help with your recovery.

After the catheter has been removed, you should be able to pass urine normally. Any stitches that need to be removed will be taken out five to seven days after your operation.

Your recovery time

The length of time it will take before you are well enough to leave hospital will depend on your age and your general level of health.

If you have had a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy, you may be able to leave between one and four days later. If you have had an abdominal hysterectomy, it will usually be up to five days before you are discharged.

You may be asked to see your GP in four to six weeks, but follow-up appointments with the hospital are not usually needed unless there are complications.

It takes about six to eight weeks to fully recover after having an abdominal hysterectomy. Recovery times are often shorter after a vaginal or laparoscopy hysterectomy. 

During this time, you should rest as much as possible and not lift anything heavy, such as bags of shopping. Your abdominal muscles and the surrounding tissues need time to heal.

If you live by yourself, you may be able to get help from your local NHS authority while you are recovering from your operation. Hospital staff should be able to advise you further about this.

Side effects

After having a hysterectomy, you may experience some temporary side effects, as outlined below.

Bowel and bladder disturbances

After your operation, there may be some changes in your bowel and bladder functions when going to the toilet.

Some women develop urinary tract infections or constipation. Both can easily be treated. It's recommended that you drink plenty of fluids and increase the fruit and fibre in your diet to help with your bowel and bladder movements.

For the first few bowel movements after a hysterectomy, you may need laxatives to help avoid straining. Some people find it more comfortable to hold their abdomen to provide support while passing a stool.

Vaginal discharge

After a hysterectomy, you will experience some vaginal bleeding and discharge. This will be less discharge than during a period, but it may last up to six weeks.

Visit your GP if you experience heavy vaginal bleeding, start passing blood clots, or have an offensive-smelling discharge.

Menopausal symptoms

If your ovaries are removed, it is likely you will experience severe menopausal symptoms after your operation. These may include:

  • hot flushes
  • anxiety
  • weepiness
  • sweating

You may have hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after your operation. This can be given in the form of an implant, injections or tablets. It usually takes around a week before having an effect.

Emotional effects

You may feel a sense of loss and sadness after having a hysterectomy. These feelings are particularly common in women with advanced cancer, who have no other treatment option.

Some women who have not yet experienced the menopause may feel a sense of loss because they are no longer able to have children. Others may feel less "womanly" than before.

In some cases, having a hysterectomy can be a trigger for depression. See your GP if you have feelings of depression that won't go away. They will be able to advise you about various available treatment options.

Talking to other women who have had a hysterectomy may help by providing emotional support and reassurance. Your GP or the hospital staff may be able to recommend a local support group for you.

The Hysterectomy Association also provides hysterectomy support services, including a one-to-one telephone support line, counselling, and "preparing for hysterectomy" workshops.

Getting back to normal

Returning to work

How long it will take for you to return to work will depend on how you feel and what sort of work you do.

If your job does not involve manual work or heavy lifting, it may be possible to return after four to eight weeks.


Don't drive until you're comfortable wearing a seatbelt and can safely perform an emergency stop.

This can be anything from between three and eight weeks after your operation. You may want to check with your GP that you are fit to drive before you start.

Some car insurance companies require a certificate from a GP stating that you are fit to drive. Check this with your car insurance company.

Exercise and lifting

After having a hysterectomy, the hospital where you were treated should give you information and advice about suitable forms of exercise while you recover.

Walking is always recommended, and you can swim after your wounds have healed. Don't try to do too much, because you will probably feel more tired than usual.

Don't lift any heavy objects during your recovery period. If you have to lift light objects, make sure that your knees are bent and your back is straight.


After a hysterectomy, it's generally recommended that you don't have sex until any vaginal discharge has stopped and you feel comfortable and relaxed, or after a minimum of six weeks.

You may experience some vaginal dryness, particularly if you have had your ovaries removed and you are not taking HRT.

Many women also experience an initial loss of sexual desire (libido) after the operation, but this usually returns once they have fully recovered.

At this point, studies show that pain during sex is reduced and that strength of orgasm, libido and sexual activity all improve after a hysterectomy.


You no longer need to use contraception to prevent pregnancy after having a hysterectomy. However, you will still need to use condoms to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Page last reviewed: 09/04/2014

Next review due: 09/04/2016


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The 60 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

panda74 said on 02 November 2014

thank you to all, i am due a hysterectomy on 11/11 leaving the ovaries in, having to have the cervix removed due to cin3, and i am totally petrified of having this operation and the recovery after, but reading all the comments has put my mind at ease slightly, thank you

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higzon said on 08 October 2014

I had a radical hysterectomy on 17.09.2014. I had uterine cancer and within four months my womb had grown from 14wk to 40 wk gestation equivalent. I had severe bleeding and horrific pain. I the pressure of all the tumours pressed on my bladder causing regular cystitis and urinary and bowel incontinence. The day after long and complicated surgery I experienced no pain and begged my surgeon to let me go home. He did at 7 p.m after I had got up and eaten, toileted and nagged non stop! I had 19 staples which I demanded to be removed as Igelt sick with them in! I was told the earliest they could be removed was on the 22.09.2014..I was allowed home the day after my operation at 8.30 p.m. On the 23.09.2014 I got into my car and went shopping! I had to walk with crutches but drove my manual car easily. On the 22.09.2014 I had the ghastly staples removed and felt great! From 19.09.2014 I could do the housework, laundry, pick up and carry my toddler granddaughter, walk the dog, push the pushchair and returned to normal life immediately. I had no menopause symptoms andfeel fabulous! After all the horror stories from women who had had a hysterectomy, I didn't get what all the fuss was about!! My G.P, nurse and surgeon are dumbfounded as to how and why I have recovered so fast..I call it willpower!! My scar has healed and faded in just 2 weeks. My figure is now slim and toned and I have not had any pain, problems or post op symptoms. I feel 20 yrs younger, not older!! I am very lucky, indeed!!

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tkm1731 said on 14 August 2014

I am exactly 4 weeks post op for lapars/vaginal hyster. My ovaries were fine - and were left. I had several fibroids and an enlarged uterus. I was getting my period every 18 days and it would last for up to 8/10 days. I needed to wear a tampon and pad to keep things in check. Was very tired of living like that.

I have to say - I had 2 c-sections and by far those were MUCH worse than my hyster surgery. I had my surgery at 7:30 a.m. on 7/16/14 and by 11:00 a.m. I was up walking the halls. I was discharged by noon the next day and was at my son's baseball game that evening. I felt somewhat tired....but would rest when I needed to. By the one week mark, I was walking a mile every day. By the 9th day - I was driving. I did take pain killers for a few days post op- but only because I was expecting the worse. At my 2 week check up the dr. was amazed at how good I was doing. At that time I was up to 2 miles a day walking. Everything was healing good. I am now up to walking over 3 miles a day. I feel good - I do have some anxiety - but walking helps. The only discomfort I feel is where the IV needle was inserted into my wrist and my groin/legs feel sore and weak.

I do think that the sooner you can get moving around and walking - the better you will be. I started with going up and down my driveway (we have a long one). I would do this 8 - 10 times a day...then I would walk down to the neighbors driveway. Finally I walked my first mile. As long as your body is feeling good - you will be fine.

The only negative thing about feeling good is that because I work for a small company - I went back to work a couple short days a week after 2 weeks. ( I have a desk job).

Oh, another thing....(probably TMI) but since having the surgery....going #2 has IMPROVED by leaps and bounds. I think having a little extra room for the plumbing - helped me out.

Good luck!

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Jar jar said on 07 August 2014

I had my op on 30th July and came out of hospital on Friday and like you I have excruciating pain on my left side when getting up out of the chair or if I bend, I find it easier if I have something to hold onto when I lift as this takes a lot of the strain from my tummy muscles, but it does feel like a burning pulling feeling. I had stents too and suffered with chronic back ache when they were removed but seems to have subsided now. I'm not sure what I can and can't do during my recovery period as I was never told or given any information.

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sarandy18 said on 05 August 2014

I am 6 days post op...I had full hysterectomy, removal of ovaries.....when sitting still feel fine....excruciating pain left lower side just below scar line when I try to stand and walk yesturday was better than today, it is like a burning pulling feeling...bowels and passing urine good and scar healing ok...is all this normal...

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Jojo36 said on 05 August 2014

This site and the personal comments really helped me before having total hysterectomy. Like the lady below I am also 36 and a student nurse. I was terrified of how I was going to feel after. It's been a week today and cannot believe how good I feel although I am aware of how easy I must take things. I had hardly no pain from the surgery but did however from the gas trapped in the body. I moved around as much as possible and drank peppermint tea and glad to say the pain went within 3 days.

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cazmermaid said on 02 August 2014

I really appreciate this information, lm 36yrs old & a student nurse & lll be having a hysterectomy on the 19th Aug, l feel a little better knowing what to expect post op, l know the staff are fab but a little underpinning knowledge always helps the nerves l think xx

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SuziTig said on 21 May 2014

Really appreciate the comments on this page as had a total hysterectomy aged 60 on 8th May and finally got out of hospital on 14th May. There were a few complications that kept me in for that long but now in 7th day home I am feeling a bit optimistic as to outcome. You do need to listen to your body and if anything feels a tiny bit owchie then don't do it. Also take painkillers regularly as these help the healing process. I was feeling better yesterday than I do today but there are bound to be days when you just need to relax and let the healing process take over. One comment I would make is that the injections I have been taking to thin my blood are not as easy to use as I at first thought. I already regularly inject insulin so its not the needle but the stomach and its distention making it awkward. I am just persevering and hoping that I'm getting it right. Very happy with East Sussex Hospital for their care of me.

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chrismary50 said on 10 May 2014

hi I had a total hysterectomy and bso on 10th april 2014
I would like to say I woke up totally pain free and no wind pain after reading all the horror stories I was dreading recovery but I had nothing only a couple of sick episodes day 1
I am now 4 weeks post op and have been driving for a week and I am back at work on 12th may.
the care I received from the john Radcliffe hosp was great

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Habibi48 said on 06 May 2014

Hi there. I came on here looking for information as to when I could resume sexual relations! I'm 4 weeks post op, I had an abdominal sub total hysterectomy, my uterus, due to 13cm fibroid and my fallopian tubes. I was lucky to have my cesaer scar reopened. I was terrified before the op and the worry made me ill. However, I had a spinal block, so was awake and although horrendous pain in my pubic bone after, I have touch wood been fine. I struggle to lay on my side as got a big tummy and bit of an achey back but have today started Kegel exercises, Michelle Kenway YouTube. I have not had any tearfulness and although I am 46 I haven't found the recovery a problem. I'm shocked at how well I've managed but tbh I'm not ready to return to work yet and also struggle slightly to get off the sofa. I am however ready for sex so will have to ring my Drs and ask whether this is ok. My scar is healing okay, a little sore. I intend to swim after six weeks and hope to fight the flab as soon as possible after that. I have walked since day 3 after op and try to walk at least a mile everyday. I slept a bit on the second week but not so now. I've eaten fresh figs from M&S for constipation but tbh I guzzled Lactulose in the early days, a means to an end. Til now, hardly any discharge and a spot or two of blood. Nothing else. Good luck to everyone out there lotsa love and any advice, well, if you wanna know how I've managed, feel free to ask lotsa love XXX

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LissytheBusy said on 22 April 2014

It is now just over 4 weeks since I had a total hysterectomy by way of a long vertical incision to remove a 25x15x15cm ovarian cyst. I am 43 and in good health but was shocked by how much the op knocked me, though a double dose of anasthetc did not help, from being rushed back into surgery for a post surgery bleed just an hour after coming up onto the ward. But that is not a common occurrence. I had an epidural inserted for 2-3 days post-op but it can slow down bowel workings. The bowel does not like being handled and I was in some pain with trapped wind with peppermint water not working. After a CT scan I had a tube inserted through the nose to release the wind but I just gagged on it and that released it!
I had a catheter in for 5 days - you do not feel it at all but beware of the bag as when full it can weigh more than we are allowed to lift!
Owing to the complications of the bleed and wind, I was on drops for much longer than the other lady on the ward for the same op, and so ended up with massive amounts of retained water. I was huge and a very odd shape. Within 10 days of leaving hospital I was 2 stone lighter than on day 5 post-op - you just need to move to shift it (I took to holding the end of the bed and walking on the spot several times a day). I am now slowly and gently walking 1.5 miles though often holding my stomach as it does feel like bits may fall out but I guess everything has to settle down into the space created.
Do not underestimate the need to rest but it gives you chance to catch up on niggling jobs like domestic paperwork, sewing plus ME time and perhaps re-evaluating life.
I have not had any menopausal symptoms yet. Even better, just learnt that the suspect lumps inside the cyst were not cancerous!
I hope it all goes well for you ladies and any hitches are minor.. Take care of yourselves.

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kazzym1963 said on 11 April 2014

I am 50 years old and have today received an appointment to have a full abdominal hysterectomy. on May 7th 2014 I have had an ultrasound and CT scan which show a large ovarian cyst 26 x25x15 cm!! My surgeon has said that he will make a vertical incision as he wants to remove the cyst intact - has any one else had this done?

I am quite worried as although I am glad to have the recent pain and swelling diagnosed it has come as a bit of a shock.

Any views/tips will be appreciated - thanks

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Words of Winston said on 08 April 2014

Aged 49 and it's a week today that I had a Laparosc vaginal hysterectomy with conservation of the ovaries. I had a 3 hour op and lost a lot of blood. Overnight BP low and a slight temp. Next morning the catheter was out, the drip was out and I was off for a shower by 11!
Yeah the wind flippin hurts folks, but a warm peppermint drink did help. I had my op at 2pm on Tues and was home by 11.30am Thursday. I have needed some painkillers especially in the evening before bed, but most days I've been good. My sister took me out for coffee yesterday and although my husband and son strongly objected I only walked from car to cafe and cafe to car slowly! It was lovely to be out! Sunday was a sleepy day and I didn't bother to get dressed but every other day I have been pottering around happily getting in to trouble for telling my lot how to do things! We have had a few cross words about things as I seem to have turned into a control freak!
Still some light bleeding going on and getting out of bed is like pulling teeth, but all things considered I thought it would be much worse.

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Philippa2002 said on 05 April 2014

Hi akadawny,
I had a sub total v hysterectomy yesterday and feel great already. I too have ibs and also had my gallbladder removed 3 months ago which means I get that instant need to get to the toilet but so far my body seems to have naturally shut off my need to go for a number 2! I have spent the last few weeks terrified about this op and the way my body would react but actually I couldn't have been more wrong. Tiredness is the main side effect so far. I'm sure if you're really worried they'll give you something to stop your bowel working overtime!
Good luck

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akadawny said on 17 February 2014

Hi everyone

I have a huge cyst on my right ovary and smaller ones on my uterus, and may have to have a hysterectomy. Could someone post an account of what to expect from before the op up till the recovery after. I am worried about two things, I'm on antidepressants and can't just stop them, will the anesthetist take this into account? Also I have irritable bowel syndrome and when I need a number 2 have to get to a toilet sharpish, and I'm worried I will need to go but won't be able to get out of bed. A women in America had to have an enema prior to her op but what happens here?
I know these are probably small things to be worried about in the scheme of things but I would like to be as prepared as possible, and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Scatty tart said on 02 February 2014

Day two after having keyhole full hysterectomy on Friday, I'm 44 and came home Saturday. Got to say feeling great . I'm lucky as I have a caring family which I will be able to recovery without overdoing anything .. Prior to having the operation I was having injections to freeze my ovaries as I had really bad pmt.. I only had one week out of the month where I felt ok... This wasn't a life it wasn't fair on me or my family.. Luckily a women doctor listen to me and understood how I was feeling and started the wheels in action.. I haven't looked back after having these injections, so fingers crossed I won't look back after this done I will keep in posted on my process ....

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QueenWin said on 02 February 2014

I am 52 and had my hysterectomy on the 22nd of January 2014 (ovaries and cervix preserved). Despite initial fears, I am amazed at how well the op went and how post op recovery is going. I was almost pain free the first evening due to the PCA and my visitors could not believe how well I looked. I was sitting up in bed sending emails and feeling absolutely fine! Up the next morning for a shower. Reminded that I had had a major operation at that point however as sitting up etc was difficult. Techniques taught to me by the physio helped but because I generally wasn't feeling any pain, I would tend to start moving around the way I always did but you get a sharp reminder very quickly that you can't do that! I was discharged after 3 days and went home with friends and family nearby if needed but I have been absolutely fine by myself. I had a bikini line incision and dissolving sutures and my wound is fine. I did get the district nurse out to check it as I thought I detected a bit of an odour from it but there were no problems.  I have to say that I now only get pain when trying to get from lying to sitting up and sitting up to standing. I am on cocodamol and brufen which I did try and cut down on but realised that they were the reason I felt fine as the pain does reveal itself without the tablets and taking them I think, means you feel normal. I do get real pain when I sneeze however, my bowels are moving normally but I can't push as that causes pain so I have to stay on the loo a wee bit longer to coax movements out! I have mastered the techniques of going from lying to sitting etc but still have to think about it and take it easy. Didn't have the dreaded wind luckily which my fellow patients were saying was worse than the op! I am taking the advice on not lifting etc and will take the full 6 weeks before returning to work as I don't think it is worth the risk of doing too much too soon. I feel good but the body is complex and needs time to heal and I will take it!

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Belletoujour said on 26 January 2014

46 yrs, 10 days post op hysterectomy , ovaries , fibroids. Had 22 staples removed this Wednesday. The actually incision was about 1 inch lower than bikini line. I am so swollen /puffy, scar downward that I look like a man. I realise its early days and was told by the young district nurse that came to my home to remove staples and redress my wound "that in theatre you get butchered ". Her exact words. I felt violated.
I feel a heaviness from underneath, also a terrible, should I say "discomfort " from the bikini area to my the top of the shoulder , right side and just won't leave. Worse when I take a deep breath and even worse when I stand for more than 5 mins. This evening I literally got to the bottom stair and got a bit dizzy. I have to have bloods taken on Tuesday at my GP 's . Last platelet count a wk ago was 66 which dropped daily over 3 days from 89 I've been told I most likely will need a blood transfusion which was supposed to happen whilst in hospital on Saturday 18th jan .

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chezevans4 said on 12 January 2014

I had partial hysterectomy on 2 jan 2014 ,I had keyhole and everything except my cervix removed and I feel wonderful,i stayed in overnight but I am now driving,been shopping and intend going back to work on wedsday just 13 days after my surgery,i would recommend you insist on key hole ,my elderly customers cant believe how quick I have recovered !! as the recovery time used to be 6 weeks

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Sukisue2 said on 02 January 2014

I had a TAH with BSO with renal stent to protect renal abnormality on 3rd December with a large abdominal wound due to size of uterus, and spent 5 hrs on theatre table was only expected to be down for maximum of 2 hrs. PCA came down following morning as no pain from op, mild trapped wind caused pain in right shoulder, better when sitting in upright chair and stent caused me more problems than wound and constant uti until removal on 27th. Main pain was from heparin injections to prevent dvt, this caused severe bruising which was unrelieved by co-codamol which caused nausea so 48 hrs post op refused all analgesia and apart from stent removal where I needed a single dose of ibuprofen and a hot water bottle no other analgesia required. I took mint tea bags into hospital to help trapped wind and nausea which were very effective. Friend called from USA 24 hrs post op and was allowed to speak to her on ward phone, much to her amazement, as walked there with drip, catheter, wound drain and wound suction pump (trial) and when asked about drinking advised I had just had baked potato with cheese for tea. Did not sleep at night, but never have done in hospital, although bay I was in was quiet, only pt at times during my stay, so no noise problems.
No abdominal swelling and already in size smaller clothes. As I live alone stayed with friend for first few days after discharge, but was home by day 4 after discharge with cats returned. Best piece of advice I was given was to stock freezer and fridge with favourite meals prior to admission.
Only problem apart from stent was my wound dehissed at umbilicus when staples removed, but is healing well despite my diabetes.

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0108lisa said on 31 December 2013

i must admit i'm getting edgy , i'm due to have my ovaries removed on 22.01.2014 having it done via keyhole surgery , i have two boys a 12 year old aultisc and a 11 year old adhd son but do have a brilliant husband my main concern is i only work parttime and wonder could i be got rid of during my recovery? and will i be intitled to any sick pay i only do 11 hours awk i'm a cleaner but doesnt involve any heavy lifting , i'm 40 the reason i'm having this done is ovarian cancer runs in my family i lost my mum to it at the young age of 50 my sister has cyts on her ovaries and has scans and blood tests every 3 to 6 months any advise will be greatfully recived {thanks in advance }

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Cautiouslyoptimistic said on 29 December 2013

MummyBH, I am so glad you shared your experience. We are similar - I had subtotal op on 12th December. Wind pain two days after op was worse than childbirth or pain I experienced prior to having brain surgery, which was a major shock, since I thought I was pretty good at managing pain, but it felt as if I was being stabbed repeatedly through my ribs. Like you, things have settled somewhat although wind is still a problem and because I get constipation easily ( and part of the brain problem means that I must not strain ), I have stopped taking painkillers. I had lots of probs with low blood pressure. Hospital staff could not put a finger on why, & three faints from standing, definitely hampered my recovery! I came on this site trying to figure out if I was a-typical in still being in quite a bit of discomfort 2 1/2 weeks on, but I realise that each one of us has a unique experience. My tummy is also still swollen - no chance of getting most of my normal clothes on at the moment.
Others who are reading this pre-op; things which I found useful were, bottle of water with a good sip top which was invaluable for night-time drinks (drink as much as you can whilst you have a catheter), facewipes - I twice missed 'washtime' and this was the only way I could clean up as I could not walk to the bathroom alone, ipod/mp3 for drowning out general noise on the ward/machines & because I was not up to the books I had brought along rather optimistically, clementines - if you miss the meal 'cos you are asleep etc., then these provide energy/liquid/roughage, small pad of paper and pen to note down anything important discussed with Dr or nurses. Make friends with others on your ward, my ward-mates and I helped each other out with dead phones, spare change, calling nurses, collecting dropped things, getting a cup of tea etc., and providing moral support in the tough times.
Best wishes & prayers for your good health in 2014 and onwards.

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MummyBH said on 28 December 2013

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy with BSO (cervix, tubes and ovaries also removed) on 11th December 2013. The pain was managable with cocodamol and ibuprofen for the first week and i am now on paracetamol only. The worst thing is wind, bladder and bowel movements. The pain is agony and has reduced me to tears. it is slowly getting better but i still wince :( Coughing and sneezing are dreadful, but laughing is a bit easier now! The bruising where I had my ovaries removed is coming out and is still sore. I had (12) staples not stitches, and these were removed a week ago. The scar is also sore and i am carefully rubbing vitamin E and moisturiser on it. I have spotting and discharge, which I am keeping an eye on, as i am not convinced that it is normal after this amount of time. my belly still feels swollen and i have to hold onto it when i move around a lot. i am now able to shower and dress myself, and can potter around a little. i nap a lot in the afternoons but then cant sleep at night, especially as i like to lie on my tummy, which i havent yet been able to do. i had to wear surgical stockings and have heparin injections for a week to reduce DVT risk. i am doing pelvic floor muscle exercises and over the last 2 days have been getting out of the house, walking a bit more. my family are doing most things for me but now the novelty has worn off and i am getting really bored! im 45 years old. i hope this helps others understand a little more about what to expect after surgery.

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mummy_1 said on 22 December 2013

I am 17 days post full abdominal hysterectomy and each day has been different but much I am in no pain and more mobile than I was lead to believe. That said, I know I have to take things easy.

My only advice is to make sure you keep a pen and paper handy. Lots of contradictory advise from Drs. and Nurses but if you take a note of their name before the advice if given, I find that they are less flippant with their advice.

And any queries regarding wound, dressing, call the GP surgery and insist on seeing a Practice Nurse. I did so tentatively on a Friday afternoon and was so glad i did as what I was told over the phone ' was probably not an infection' was the beginning of a foul smelling infection.
Listen to yourself and your body.

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User813180 said on 19 December 2013

I had a vaginal hysterectomy and repaired prolapses 09/12/2013, I had a spinal with a sedative, which has left me traumatised. I felt I was bullied into having this and after championing my local hospital through thick and thin I feel totally let down.
I am resting up very well, but I'm itching to do things that I have been told that I can't do! I have a pain in my lower left hand side that will not go away!

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shoesprettyshoes said on 09 December 2013

| go into hospital on 14th Dec for a full abdominal hysterectomy. I've read a few of your comments. Has anyone got any advise on what I should take into hospital or what essentials I'll need once home. I'm reading that much now I'm totally confused, scared and dreading it

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neurotic saz said on 22 November 2013

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy on 4th November 2013, home on 6th. Bit of a shock to the system to say the least. To counter the dreaded constipation and the wind I have used an old tip, tried and tested, and it worked. In the morning a hot cup of tea, or hot drink of your choice, followed by a glass of orange juice. Drink a lot of fluid throughout the day, include dates and prunes in your diet. Keep warm. Even if you think everything is back to normal keep the same regime going. If you lapse and forget to drink enough you can get constipated again and your wee starts to burn again. I hope this may help others. Good luck.

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Kat20 said on 13 November 2013

Had a full vaginal hysterectomy and bladder repair on the 5th Nov. Came home 7th Nov. Started walking 8th Nov. Slight discomfort cutting down on painkillers and managing fine. Actually drove my car to postbox and back today. Taking things easy but enjoy walking. Having trouble sleeping all night. Other than that feel fine, in fact can not believe how well I do feel considering what was done. Continuing to take things easy but looking forward to going back to work in 6 weeks.

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User815189 said on 28 October 2013

I had my vaginal hysterectomy last Tuesday - having lots of painful trapped wind which is far worse than the surgery pain which is minimal really-anyone have any advice what to do please? Post op I didn't have my bowels opened for 4 days but in total was 7 as had been constipated before my op -had tried senna and fruit and loads if water but my bowel had gone lazy! Eventually the doctors listened and gave Me 6 laxido which is used for severe constipation
I'm also scared to push to have my bowels opened now in case I cause damage to the internal stitches. Any advice would be great x

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tracey36 said on 14 October 2013

I'm now 5 weeks post surgery of a full abdominal surgery and now feeling much better every day, Ive taken advice given and rested and not over exerted myself (which I have found very difficult but I have managed), I had op frid pm and was home mon morning and stitches removed on the wed I personally felt this was a little early as parts of the wound was not fully healed and on moving around kept pulling it open and very painful.
My tummy has never been flat and was a little saggy with lots of stretch marks after having children and no amount of exercise resolved this, but now look like I've got a full on apron belly, wound site is healed (which is hiding underneath) but hard still a little sore even though I massage it daily, am I being impatient will this go down.
I'm grateful I won't have the horrendous problems I suffered every month but my belly looks even worse and I was always very conscious of the stretch marks before

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somerslees said on 27 September 2013

I am 11 days post op from having a hysterectomy by keyhole surgery and I have to say I am feeling great.
Still tender on my tummy, which only to be expected, but the bruising has gone down and I go to the toilet (bowels) most days which is good.
I go out for a couple of short walks a day and I dont do any heavy lifting etc.
I must say I have started to have the odd hot flush, but I see my doctor soon so hopefully she will give me something for that...
I think I will probably be back to work on a phased return after about four weeks.
I sleep well at night and I do sleep in a bit in the mornings but I dont need to nap in the day...

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JayMCee said on 24 September 2013

I had an abdominal hysterectomy and my ovaries removed, exactly 4 weeks ago. I also had problems with severe trapped wind pain, I was given peppermint tablets in the hospital but they didn't make much difference, I also found Lactulose given to me to relieve constipation also made the problem worse, especially at night. What did seem to help was simply having lots of water, fresh fruit and eating small portions so I didn't feel too full and uncomfortable, truthfully my appetite has dropped alot anyway. I also bought big knickers for comfort, and I bought some maternity jeans which are much more comfortable - I still cant wear my normal jeans yet- and if you wear a slightly longer top, no one will know they are maternity jeans, hope this helps Adella, and let your doctorknow you are anxious about the crowded train, and try to have a bit longer off work if you can

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adella 64 said on 22 September 2013

I had my subtotal hysterectomy 3 weeks ago, the first week i was so tired, every day had sever wind pain, i don't remember the nurse mention this would happen. I got full briefs from marks & spencer they have been perfect. I suffer from sever wind pain the nurse didn't advise this would happen. My stomach is still swollen I have been signed off from work for 6 weeks however my GP wants to see me before he will let me go back to work. My family has been a big help. last week was the first time I left the house due to we have an attic flat, my husband and I went for a short walk, it felt good. The only thing I 'm worried about is travelling on the packed overground train to get to work.

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Fiby said on 20 September 2013

marimorus, I'm glad you are feeling good. I too was surprised after my surgery to discover it wasn't half as bad as I had feared. I wouldn't bother with the tummy binders. They are a complete waste of money. I bought two and never used them. One looks like a pair of large knickers with a hole at the bottom. The other is a large piece of harsh fabric with a velcro strip running the other end which is meant to be wrapped around the lower part of your tummy. I never used them. I am now considering cutting them up and turning them into fan belts for my car! I never bothered with big knickers and all that stuff. My M&S high legs were fine throughout! I am now nearly 4 months post op. I still have some slight swelling around my tummy and a little numbness but it seems to be getting better each day. Good luck with your recovery!

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mrskoz said on 19 September 2013

I had a total hysterectomy 2 weeks ago. people had told me to expect 'wind discomfort' after the surgery but this manifested itself as horrendous pain. I tried to 'walk it off' as the surgeon suggested and the nurses gave me peppermint tea and peppermint oil to try and shift the wind - no help! Eventually i was in such pain the nurses gave me oramorph and voltarol - which helped a bit but the only thing that really helped was a good bowel movement several days after the surgery. Dont underestimate the effects of the actual procedure (once the nurses explained exactly what happened during the surgery it was pretty obvious why i was in such pain!) i 'wrote off' the first post operative week - no sleep, general discomfort etc but now i am heading towards the 2nd week i feel more like my old self. the frustrating part is having to rely on my family to hoover/clear cobwebs/wash floors - it doesn't happen the minute i ask and that is difficult!
i have been signed off for 8 weeks (i work in a large infant school as a counsellor) and i intend to look after myself during that time. Ladies, we have had major surgery and although surgical techniques have made the operation easier for the surgeon to perform (i assume...) the effects on our bodies should not be underestimated.

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marimorus said on 13 September 2013

12 days since the operation total abdominal hysterectomy with overies etc removed - I'm feeling pretty good. Like the others really surprised at how well I feel. Generally discomfort rather than pain - but did over do things a bit today so I'm forced to be good for a while. 1 question ladies - my tummy is swollen (from just above the wound to the belly button) when should I switch from extra big knickers to tummy control pants? I've seen references to tummy binders - what are they, what do they do and where do you get them?

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anotherside said on 07 August 2013

Thanks for all the comments. I was beginning to worry I was unusual. I'm mid 50's and 2 weeks past a full abdominal hyst along with the removal of a 12 pound cyst. I'm still having pain though not nearly as badly and no bleeding yet. Bladder and bowel still causing discomfort to some degree. I must say I've only had one hot flash so far, knock on wood!. The staples come out tomorrow which I'm not looking forward to. The hardest thing is the sleeping so much. Im finally sleeping again most of the night with intermittent waking up but I'm also sleeping much of most afternoons. I walk about a half mile once or twice a day as tolerated but felt like I was not doing enough but couldn't do more. At least now I know it isn't just me not recovering properly so thanks everyone.

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angart said on 06 August 2013

I had a total hysterectomy sept last year and they found fallopian tube cancer, my wound has only healed in the last week or so,probably due to the chemo. I am now getting pains in my tummy and back and wonder is this usual? Scared if I'm honest, anybody else had this?

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Fiby said on 03 August 2013

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy 8 weeks ago. It was not half as painful as I had expected it to be. I was discharged on the fifth day with a ton of painkillers but did not take any beyond the fourth day. My incision has healed very well and I am no longer in pain. However I still feel a bit numb and sore around my tummy. I have a lot of swelling and my surgeon told me it might take over a year to go down which is a bit depressing. My tummy looks like a bag and looks pretty yucky. My kingdom for a flat tummy!

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Jas1234 said on 25 July 2013

I am 50 years old and am 4 weeks post op, I have had total hysterectomy and have scar that has healed. When will the swelling go down, I feel ok just a bit sore around scar area, no other symptoms even though no ovaries etc, can at last wear white, have no problems but swelling that get worse as day goes on.

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Jas1234 said on 25 July 2013

I am 50 years old and have had total hysterectomy removal of womb plus ovaries, I am week 4 post op and wound healed but have swelling on tummy, when does this go down? I take pain relief 3 x a day ibruprofen, mainly. I am doing more each day and as yet no symptoms just sore inside, which is to be expected, happy to wear white again...

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caz67 said on 24 July 2013

just found out today that I need a vaginal hysterectomy.. just leaving my fallopian tubes and ovaries... im 46 and not going through menopause yet... dr told me I wont go through early menopause with this operation but can any one put my mind at ease and tell me my dr is right??

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randomk8 said on 11 June 2013

I am 35 and due for a subtotal hysterectomy in 2 weeks. I have read the other comments and it is true we are all different. My biggest fear was not being able to take care of my three children. I have made lots of in depth schedules and I have a great family and close friends that will all pitch in as I know I won't be able to do anything. The only thing that I am thinking of is that I will be my old self by the end of summer and it will all be worth it. No more severe bleeding that lasts weeks or pain. Just have to get my head down and get through the next few weeks. Sites lke this help to know we are not alone.

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TangoC said on 10 June 2013

I had a total hysterectomy with vaginal removal on 8th May (I am 48), so I'm now just over 4 weeks post op. I had a laparoscopic vaginal removal & came home the night of the next day, personally looking back I should have stayed in another day but I wanted to go home.

The whole recovery process has been a big surprise to me. Pain has been minimal, I certainly know when I have done too much, but after talking to friends who have been through it before I have been very strict with myself as I was told that even doing things like putting the washing on would set me back. In the second week I did start to bleed heavily which I was worried about but my GP reassured me that this was normal and I now haven't bled for 2 days so hopefully that is it.

As I was starting menopausal symptoms prior to my op I haven't really noticed any major changes, just a few more night sweats but they are manageable. Due to a family history of breast cancer I have opted not to use HRT and I'm hoping to use natural remedies instead, so will see how that goes.

Have been quite tired in the afternoons but that maybe down to not doing as much as usual, I am usually on the go constantly. On the up side this has taught me that doing loads of housework everyday is just daft, life is far too short.

Last week I was told that the cyst which was removed was not cancerous, this was the main reason for the op being done, so now looking forward to a full happy recovery as I no longer have that ticking time bomb inside me.

Anyone waiting for this operation try not to worry, if I am anything to go by it's not as awful as I expected. Good luck and a happy recovery.

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panther99 said on 28 May 2013

Like Lighthouse39,I had my abdominal hysterectomy 11 days ago and stitches removed 4 days ago. I am struggling to sleep at night too. I am trying not to rely on my pain relief but find myself taking it just so I can get a couple of hours unbroken sleep. I manage to have a small walk everyday, but just having a shower exhausts me. I try not to sleep during the day, in the hope I will sleep at night,but to no avail. Any advice anyone? Thanks

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lighthouse39 said on 27 May 2013

I had a hysterectomy 10 days ago. My question is if anyone out there had trouble sleeping at night. I have taken my pain meds. with Benadryl and have tried Melatonin. Any suggestions?

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Fiby said on 26 May 2013

I am due to have an abdominal hysterectomy next week due to large fibroids that are now pressing against my vital organs. I am very scared of what might follow : the level of pain to expect, whether I will receive enough pain relief, wind pains, constipation, bladder problems, DVT, mobility problems, the degree of bleeding, swollen abdomen, the catheter, the drain in my incision, the length of the incision the time it will take to recover,whether I will make a full recovery, the hormone treatment to follow and if that will be the right one for me etc etc. The whole thing is terrifying me. I have read about women who have done a 'runner' whilst being wheeled to the operating theatre. I can somehow visualise myself as being one of those women! I desperately need to talk to my surgeon about all these fears but am afraid he might be irritated by this as he has gone over most of my fears. I am up most of the night as I try and face my fears. My blood pressure has shot up and I feel physically sick with fear. I feel horribly isolated and wish I could just close my eyes and this nightmare would disappear. Sometimes I wish I had not gone down this route and just endured the pain.

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karennina said on 20 May 2013

Hi there
I too had an abdominal hysterectomy four weeks ago tomorrow and am lucky if I manage two or three walks round the garden and house, I feel totally exhausted still and am having to have a sleep two or three times during the day ....
I definetly could not undertake a 45 minute walk at the moment...
I am listening to my body and just not overdoing it.
Good luck with your recovery :)

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Anonymous said on 18 May 2013


I had a hysterectomy 4 weeks ago and my doctor told me it was very important as part of my recovery to do as much walking as I can. He said by the 6 week check up I should be walking an hour to an hour and a half a day. I am struggling with this and probably walking about 10 to 15 minutes a day if lucky. I am still in pain and extremely tired most days. Should I be doing more or am I expecting too much from myself. Any thoughts?

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marion nolan said on 23 April 2013

hi i had hysteroscopy before my hysterectomy i had large fibriods i had the op dec 2010 and it was sucsess but i have never needed to diet and have put nearly a stone on and stomach muscles are flabby but feel so much better having the op. i still get pain in scar from time to time and sharp pain lower left side . am not on any medication from doc i take menopace out asda it works for me

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anniehawk said on 30 March 2013

I'm 50, have not yet had my menopause and have a large fibroid. I'm soon to have a hysteroscopy as consultant advised it so he can take a biopsy and have a look around. He has already advised I have a hysterectomy before even the hysteroscopy has taken place, mainly because it is large.

However, I have a dilemma. I've had the fibroid for 15 years growing slowly. It was even grapefruit sized during my second pregnancy with no problems. My periods aren't particularly heavy and don't bother me, I have slight discomfort but no pain. Apparently it is pressing a little on my kidneys but nothing to worry about. I'm wondering whether to wait until I have my menopause which must be close. The fibroid will stop growing and possibly shrink. I can live with that. Not sure its worth putting myself through the above problems if not necessary. Added to this I am a single mother of two; I'm a self employed teacher with no sick pay. If I go into hospital then have up to a three month recovery the bills, mortgage etc wont be paid and I have no-one to help me at home to recover. It seems doctors don't think of these things when they suggest radical procedures.

Any thoughts on this?

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Karen33 said on 26 January 2013


I had a fully hysterectomy on the 14th of jan 2013
Can anyone tell me if I should have had a drain in
When I came out of theatre ? ( my surgeon did tell
Me that I would a long with a fluid drip a pca and a
Catheter I only had the fluid drip and catheter ) I
Would just like to know as I'm having to have a district
Nurse everyday because I'm losing fluid from my wound
Many thanks in advance

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sherrin said on 02 January 2013

I had a full radical hysterectomy on 2nd dec 2012 ive had a water infection but feeling better. Does anyone have advice on the what you can and cant do?? Everyone says conflicting advice and the hospital gave none. Am i ok to walk my energetic dog?? How far can u walk? I get some sharp pains in my side am i over doing things? Im not doing much less than i was before except i fall asleep in the afternoon any advice appreciated thanks

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clara66 said on 30 December 2012

I had a full bio hysterectomy on 11th dec and felt pretty good first week but now feeling tired with pains in stomach with slight pinky discharge. Have I overdone things in first week? Or does this sound normal?
I know I did the 'shop til you drop' thing before the 11th because I wanted every thing done before Christmas.

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katerich said on 21 December 2012

TO Ireneali...I was sore too for up to 12 weeks after my op in september..Was about to go back to the doctors..And decided to try rubbing my scar with oil which my consultant had told me to do but I never did (I used Bio-oil)..Once I started the pain went immediately.. The soreness was obviously down to the skin stretching around my scar...Also a tiny bit lopsided but not too bad..My scar is vertical rather than horizontal - aparently they go either way.But now just over three months everything is fine..

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sallys4473 said on 19 December 2012

I am a single mum of two young children and am worried about the recovery time for the operation.. I am having a full hysterectomy.. taking everything but my ovaries and they say doing it keyhole... I don't fit into the operations mentioned as my surgeon not leaving part or any of my cervix or uterus and taking fallopian tubes too..... can anyone help if had same operation?
thank you so much

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ireneali said on 13 December 2012

Hi, I had a hysterectomy on Nov 15. I seem to be recovering well except, like Mandie my stomach is lopsided and swoolen on the left side. It's all still a bit sore.
Worried things may not be right. Any advice??

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mandie13 said on 29 September 2012

hi i had a hysterectomy may 14th 2012 and the last couple of weeks my left side is swollen and my stomach lopsided and looks deformed my scar is uncomfortable to stinging pains in left side otherwise i was recovering well no problems other than flushes,nightsweats.mood change but having changed brands of hrt and i am taking citalopram for moods they seem more bearable i went to see my gp thurs and has refered me back to hospital i am worried that i have a infection or worse have to have more surgery please help anyone else experienced this? :(

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nicola w said on 31 May 2012

Hi i had a hysterectomy 3 months ago now can anyone advise how long it will take for my stomach to feel back to normal as it still doesnt feel right i am going back to work on a phased return next week just hope i have done the right thing if anyone can help i would be grateful thanks

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wendy v said on 19 January 2012

I found this info very useful - it answered the questions that I had, and had not been answered whilst I was in hospital. These being when can I drive and how long the recovery is.

I have had bowel and bladder disturbance too and it is helpful to know these are normal and nothing to be alarmed about! I wish I had known that I'd get full-blown menopausal symptoms - I thought the pain was causing the sweats!!!

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