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Abdominal total hysterectomy

(13 Posts)
Blackteadrinker77 Wed 06-Dec-17 15:37:08

Long time lurker but I've never posted before.

Has anyone had an abdominal total hysterectomy? How did it go? How long before you could walk comfortably?

I'm due surgery in two weeks and I'm starting to get really scared which isn't like me at all.

BG2015 Thu 07-Dec-17 19:41:32

Hi I had a hysterectomy in June, retained ovaries and it was by key hole. They will get you up and walking within 24 hours.

Go over to the hysterectomy Association website- loads of support and information over there with lists of what to expect during recovery and what you can and can’t do as you recover.

Sidge Thu 07-Dec-17 19:53:21

I had an abdominal hysterectomy with preservation of ovaries at the end of September.

I really underestimated how the recovery would be - it knocked me for six. There is a BIG difference between keyhole surgery and open surgery.

I had a spinal and a GA, came back from theatre with oxygen nasal prongs, a PCA, a drip, a catheter and a wound drain. Wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything except water until my PCA came down (approx 24 hours). Got out of bed after 24 hours, discharged after 48. Found the walk from the ward down to the car very painful and slow!

Spent most of the next few days shuffling around the house, couldn't stand up straight for days. Very swollen tummy, couldn't wear most of my clothes, even leggings. Got pretty constipated, despite drinking loads. Took painkillers regularly, and slept a lot.

Felt a bit more normal after 1 week but still very sore and swollen. Still very tired.

2 weeks I felt better, pottered around but no heavy lifting or walking too far.

When they told me I'd need 6 weeks off work I thought "no I won't" but I really did!!

tobee Thu 07-Dec-17 20:24:56

It won't necessarily be that bad! Maybe it's a question of luck?

I had abdominal surgery two and half years ago, retaining my ovaries and cervix. I also had a general and a spinal. I was having the op at about 9 a.m and was able to have a normal lunch at 1pm the same day. I had a catheter and morphine intravenously - the kind you self administer when you want. But I never actually used it. I just managed with the pain killing element of the anaesthetic. And regular paracetamol and ibuprofen. I was discharged two days later and was walking slowly, was tired and certainly achy for a few weeks but I took everything very slowly.

I don't have a very high pain threshold or anything, I think my anaesthetist just got the combination right. My sister had the same op 6 months before and suffered much more than me.

It is completely brilliant now though and I'm so glad I had it done. (Heavy periods) smile

ScreamingValenta Thu 07-Dec-17 20:38:23

I had one a year ago, including oophorectomy and cervix removal. I had a GA and epidural. It went well on the whole.

I came round from surgery mid-afternoon and I have to admit, the initial pain was horrendous - I couldn't sleep or eat, even with maximum pain relief. I had my catheter removed the following morning and got up for the first time to wee (not pretty!). From that point, though, the pain started easing off and I managed to get up that afternoon and walk the length of the corridor outside my room.

I was discharged the next day and from then, as long as I stayed still lying on the sofa, I wasn't really in pain - moving about was a different matter, especially going from lying to sitting to standing!

A week after my op I left the house for the first time. Within two weeks I was pottering around, cooking, cleaning, light housework. Tiredness was a real problem, and the smallest thing exhausted me, but it gradually got better. I was back at work (on phased basis) after 7 weeks, which was still very tiring. I'd say it was about 6 months until I felt 100% recovered.

A year on, it's great to be pain free and free of horrendous periods. My scar is barely visible now. I only wish I'd been able to have the operation earlier in life (I was 42). I was very scared beforehand but it was well worth it; the gain was far more than the pain.

Blackteadrinker77 Fri 08-Dec-17 10:13:22

Thank you very much for the replies.

I'm terrified to be honest and no-one in RL would ever hear those words from me.
I am being opened up vertical cut the full way due to a large tumour that may have attached to or crushed the bowel.
I go in on the 20th hopefully out Christmas eve or Christmas morning but they said it could be 27th.
I have a new born baby grand daughter and the thought I won't be able to help my daughter with her is awful.
Stupid I know as she isn't struggling and is already starting to batch cook meals for me as my DH can't burn toast even :fsmile
I think the fact it is Christmas is making it worse. I always play hostess for family of 12. Plus everyone brings their dogs and I cook them doggie christmas cake and doggy gravy etc.
This year they are all just having to bring buffet foods and do an impromptu spread.

Thymeout Fri 08-Dec-17 14:06:39

I was surprised to read some of these posts. Like you, Op, I had a very large tumour, ovarian, and had the full monty with vertical incision. I had a fentanyl epidural put in pre-op which lasted through the first night and then just heavy duty paracetamol and ibuprofen. I must have had a v good surgeon, because I can honestly say I was never in pain, except when I coughed or laughed. I was told I would be in for 4 nights, but was allowed home after 3 and for the last 2 days I was walking upright and comfortably to the day room for lunch.

When I was home, I carried on with the hospital drug schedule, and could manage everything I needed to do, just took longer. e.g. I needed a rest after a shower and drying my hair, but could do microwave meals and cups of tea. After 2 weeks, I did bus and train back to the hospital for my check-up.

But, yes, it does take longer than you'd think to get back to full strength and stamina. I found standing still was the biggest problem - gave me back-ache. Also, stock up with glycerine suppositories and prune juice. It take time for your innards to get going again after being poked around.

Best of luck!

Sidge Fri 08-Dec-17 15:03:11

Maybe it depends on what they do whilst they're in there? Apparently I had multiple adhesions and my cervix was stuck to my bladder and my uterus stuck to my bowel. I should have been in theatre an hour but was in for 2.5.

I wouldn't say I was in huge pain but it was certainly painful to cough, laugh and move around quickly.

I'd had 3 C-sections previously and bounced back from them but am older and flabbier this time around!

Good luck OP, I hope you're home for Christmas and the tumour is easily removed.

ilovewelshrarebit123 Fri 08-Dec-17 15:31:51

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy and they took my ovaries as well, just over two years ago. I'm 48 now.

I felt very poorly for a week as I don't cope well with generals and I also got an infection, not sure where it was though. I won't lie, I felt truly terrible for the first few days and I didn't know what to do with myself. Luckily I could stay in hospital as I had it done privately through an insurance.

I got the worst trapped wind to so if you can get something for that, get it! I also can't take morphine based pain medication so struggled with pain, but I imagine it would be manageable with stronger pain relief.
After a three days I could get around, shower, potter and after a week, make myself snacks and ready meals. I'm a single parent so didn't have help really, but friends hoovered etc for me.

For the first two weeks I slept, read and lounged on the sofa. Week three I went out for little walks and lunch. By week 5 I woke up one morning and thought 'I feel normal'! 😆

I wasn't allowed HRT for the first four weeks so I was very hormonal and tearful. After 8 weeks I could have gone back to work, but it was the week before Christmas so I went back in the new year.

Having the op was the best thing ever, I can wear white trousers, I can go out and not worry about flooding. I've saved a fortune on san-pro as I had to double up with pads and tampax.

Fine tuning my HRT has been a trial but I'm sorted now. Hope it all goes well for you 🍀

ScreamingValenta Fri 08-Dec-17 16:38:38

I was in a similar position to @Sidge with multiple adhesions - my bowel was quite badly adhered, so I had to do a day's bowel prep before the op.

I think it's natural to be scared of any major operation, but certainly in my case, the worst was over within 48 hours and after that point, the pain I was in was far, far less than the pain my conditions had been causing me.

Blackteadrinker77 Fri 08-Dec-17 16:45:56

Thank you all for the feedback, it is great to hear so many of you were up right and walking within days.

StillMedusa Sat 09-Dec-17 00:56:28

Abdominal Hysterectomy here (kept my ovaries as I was 35). Came round with catheter, tons of pain meds. First 48 hours are a blur (probably due to morphine). Hurt a lot for a week, then improved rapidly and I went back to work (physical job) 6 weeks later.
I (bad woman) drove after 10 days as I was bored stiff!
What did surprise me was how exhausted I was.

CakesRUs Sat 09-Dec-17 01:32:28

Yes two years ago. I had a vertical incision as I've had 3 caesareans.

The best advice I can give (and wish I could've told myself) is it genuinely is a long healing process. I remember googling "2.5 week post hysterectomy, should I be feeling like this?". You really need to rest and it drives you up the wall, but you have to accept it. Get Netflix if you don't have it! I had a House of Cards marathon.

But, given time, you do heal and I for one, would do it again.

Get your HRT sorted before your op. I went straight into patches.

The website HysterSisters was invaluable, they have a great forum too.

Good luck! You will be fine.

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