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Recovery from hysterectomy and pelvic floor repair

(8 Posts)
slightlywobbly Thu 19-Jan-17 11:39:01

I'm at three weeks into recovery, following a fair loss of blood during op, still low blood pressure and anaemic, so am not expecting to feel 100% just yet.

Wounds are doing well, or at least they had been. Although I have been doing well on the pottering around the house, and not lifting anything front, I've not felt much energy for walking outside, as was initially encouraged by the physio. I've felt the amount of time on my feet and moving around has been adequate. I'm on my own and have had little but some help, so quite a bit of gentle pottering activity and had my dc (6 and 10) on my own over the weekend). I've felt anymore activity than this would have been too much and have worried about getting dizzy if walking out on my own (I know this sounds pathetic). I have been "out" several times, albeit just walking to and from the car when someone's taken me somewhere).

I've been doing my pelvic floor exercises and took my first 5-10min walk outside the day before yesterday, but it was a bit uncomfortable (chafing lol) and resulted in quite a lot of pain yesterday, when I also went out. I've been relatively pain free for over a week now so this was a surprise. It looks quite red down there so am worrying I may have an infection, or done something, although no bleeding or discharge.

Called my Gynae's PA yesterday as not sure really whose best to talk to, ie Gynae, Physio or GP. PA said my records had gone back to the original hospital (I'd taken the op at a different hospital as one came up quicker) and either she or gynae would call me back, but neither did. Can't get to see my GP til 3rd, but am seeing a different Dr on Monday as sick note due to run out.

Am also suffering from periods of anxiety (which I have a history of so recognise well) and understand I'm experiencing hormonal surges due to my ovaries waking up and readjusting, I'm on 30mgs of citalapram (since before op) but still having daily tears. Actually not feeling sure whether I am worrying about nothing, and to just take a bit more time.

Also not quite clear about what to expect from my aftercare, and who to contact about what. I saw my GP at a week for blood test and she's upped my iron, but I've realised I have no idea what to expect next in terms of anymore checkups etc - can anyone shed at light? TIA

LunaLoveg00d Thu 19-Jan-17 14:27:55

Hi Wobbly,

I had a hysterectomy at the end of November so have been through all this fairly recently. My wound was sore and red after 3 weeks-ish too, I ended up at the GP as I was concerned about it and she ummed and aahed and ended up giving me antibiotics. Definitely worth making an appointment to see a GP or a nurse so they can have a look at the wound, they are seeing surgical wounds every day and know what's normal and what's not. If you can't get a GP appointment push to see a nurse - the receptionist at our practice fitted me in very quickly when I mentioned a hysterectomy scar.

Have you been given an appointment to go back and see the surgeon? I had a check after 6 weeks which involved her looking at the scar from the outside and getting the speculum out for an internal look too. She was happy with my progress so discharged me. If you haven't had an appointment for 6 to 8 weeks after your op, query it with the hospital. I have also had two sessions with a women's health physio who has been brilliant and who has talked me through exercises and things like scar massage. Didn't see her until discharged by the surgeon after 6 weeks though.

Hysterectomy is a MAJOR OPERATION and you're only 3 weeks into recovery. Don't push yourself too far, too fast. Walking is the absolutely best thing you can do to help your recovery, and getting out into the fresh air is good for your mental wellbeing too. It doesn't have to be far, I started with a 3 minute walk to the local shop with one of my kids and built up from there. I would also push to see a GP to discuss your other issues with the anxiety.

slightlywobbly Thu 19-Jan-17 16:23:27

Hey thanks Luna. I ended up managing to speak with the physio, who said def see GP on Monday. Had quite stabby/burny pains as well as aching everywhere, I couldn't sit or stand - had to lie on my side to get comfy! Not as bad today, just aware is inflamed, but I may go see duty Dr tomorrow if gets worse again, and yes will discuss anxiety etc when I see them.

And yes, I know the walking outside is good for me! I am so on it asap :-) Now I've done it once and know I'll not be dizzy, I'm not feeling quite so anxious!

Ah, 6 weeks for consultant check up, ok that's good, I'll def chase if no appt comes through. Thank you :-)

Footle Thu 19-Jan-17 17:25:50

You won't necessarily get a follow-up appointment, unless you have reason to ask for one. It's the sort of routine thing that has been cut back on.

RaskolnikovsGarret Thu 19-Jan-17 17:51:50

Hope you feel better soon. flowers I think you should ask to be checked out. No point suffering.

I am having one in three weeks, and am hoping to be back full time at work in two weeks. Hope it's feasible. Mine is laparoscopic/keyhole - was yours?

slightlywobbly Thu 19-Jan-17 18:37:32

Ah ok Footle, I did wonder, thanks.

And Rask yes I will def get checked as still doesn't feel quite right today, thank you. Hate to say it but 2 weeks sounds optimistic from my experience, but I've heard some people can do it, I guess it depends on the support you have in those two weeks to focus on recovery, and the sort of work you do? Might need a back up plan for a bit longer just to be on the safe side? Absolutely no point rushing it. Mine was vaginal so in theory quicker recovery, but slowed down I think due to my blood pressure and anaemia. Physio said no way I am ready to go back, even next week sad

Are you keeping your ovaries? If you do then you also need to be prepared for them to be slow waking up from the op so some menopausal symptoms possibly to look forward to as well, albeit temporarily, mine are still levelling out now I think.


RaskolnikovsGarret Thu 19-Jan-17 19:36:35

Keeping them, yes.

I have an office job, and my boss is great and says not to rush back, but I can't stand the idea of being out of action for so long, not being able to work/drive. My DH and teens will help, but I hate being dependent on people.

But you're right, rushing back could be counterproductive.

A vaginal one sounds good - where is the pain from in this kind of op, if not a wound?

slightlywobbly Thu 19-Jan-17 22:47:38

Yes all the lovely women I've spoken to who've been through similar, the message has been take it slowly. Doing damage through too much too soon can really set back recovery and at worst lead to more surgery, and the more surgery you have the weaker the repairs etc, so the more vulnerable in the future. I think that's why I'm so frustrated, as I feel I've been sensible and taken it slowly, but infections happen.

Some people can take 6 weeks, but again this depends on complications and type of work. You may find you are still very tired easily too, and need a day time rest for around 4 weeks, however well physically the wounds are healing, so you might need to consider that too.

Can you do any work from home? Do you need to drive to work? My GP won't sign anyone off for driving less than 4 weeks, some insurers say 6 weeks, so you might need to check.

The pain for me is mainly around the entrance, but internal too. I've had repair as well and, well sorry if TMI, but they have to cut from the entrance of the vagina, to get in so to speak! So it's all a bit sore! But not as bad as abdominal, so I have to be thankful for that.

I'm probably a bit ignorant on the need for or effects of laparoscopic/keyhole as wasn't relevant to me, but I think the recovery times are around the same as for vaginal. I think it's a matter of prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't take long, which it may well do if all goes well, which I'm sure it will! I've heard lots of success stories too.

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