When considering a hysterectomy, most women have many questions. From whether her hysterectomy is the only, or best, option, to what kind of hysterectomy her gynecologist recommends. Dr. Taryll Jenkins of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine has helped many women understand the procedure and learn what to expect.
A hysterectomy can be performed several different ways, either through abdominal, vaginal or laparoscopic approach. Nearly all hysterectomies are performed in a hospital or surgical center under anesthesia. Immediately following the surgery, the patient typically recovers in the hospital for a while. If the surgery was a laparoscopic surgery, patients may only need to stay in the hospital for a day and full recovery may only take one to two weeks. Those who undergo an abdominal hysterectomy may require several days in the hospital, with six to eight weeks of downtime at home.
Following the hysterectomy, patients are advised to follow their doctor’s instructions carefully and not try to rush through their recovery. Most physicians recommend light walking but avoiding heavy lifting for several weeks, as the body needs time to heal and recover.
Patients should watch for symptoms such as fever or chills, excessive bleeding or discharge, intense pain, inflammation, redness, or swelling at the incision site, trouble urinating or having a bowel movement, or chest pain and shortness of breath. If a patient does have these symptoms, she should call her doctor immediately.
Finally, patients should also expect some emotional changes following a hysterectomy. For some, it can be a challenging experience as they come to terms with losing their ability to become pregnant or depression over the reason they needed to undergo the surgery in the first place such as infection or cancer. Other women notice hormonal changes, especially if the ovaries were removed. It’s important to note that all of these changes and feelings are normal and patients should not be afraid to talk to their physician about any concerns or questions.
For more information about the type of hysterectomy, and to understand what to expect during recovery, call Dr. Jenkins today.
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