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Getting In and Out of Bed after Hysterectomy

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Getting In and Out of Bed after hysterectomyI’m having a hard time getting up by myself. Are there any tricks or hints for getting in and out of bed?

Getting in and out of bed can be pretty tricky after a hysterectomy. While your incisions (internal or external) are still healing, and your tummy is still tender, you want to be especially careful not to twist too far or make any sudden movement that could strain the area. Plus, your muscles will be weak, which can make it extra difficult to get yourself upright.

Here are some tips that might be helpful:
  • Use a recliner as a bed. It can be set to lay back enough to let you sleep, yet easy enough to get out.
  • Use pillows to prop yourself up and make yourself comfortable in your bed.
  • Use a pillow wedge to prop yourself in a semi-reclining position in your bed.
  • Prop up the head of your bed using bricks. It's easier to get up when your head is already elevated.
  • Sleep on the couch. The reach to get off the couch isn’t as far as a bed.
  • Roll to your side and push up with your arms.
  • Put a sturdy kitchen chair next to your bed, with the back facing the bed, to use as a rail.

If none of these are possible, here are some instructions for getting out of bed:
  1. Turn over to the side you are getting up from. Do not try to sit bolt upright. By turning to your side you are using less of your front abdominal muscles and more of the side muscles and your arms.
  2. When you are all the way over on your side, with the elbow on the down side of you, start to push up, putting your other arm in front of you at the same time to help push you up to a sitting position. (This is kind of like walking your arms along until you are upright). It helps to have your feet just about hanging over the edge also, but not so much that it hurts. As you push yourself up, you need to drop your feet down.
  3. Reverse: To get back down you should do just the reverse. Do not let yourself flop back down straight. It really hurts, and you have no control over how fast you are going and you end up tightening those abdominal muscles in a very jerky way to try to slow yourself down.
    Instead, lower yourself onto your elbow, using the opposite arm in front of you to brace yourself going down on your side. Do not turn until you are all the way down and your knees are up on the bed. Once you are totally down and on your side, then turn over. To adjust yourself, bring your knees up a bit and dig your heels in and lift your bottom or hips to adjust yourself—use your legs, not your stomach muscles if possible. Prop yourself up with pillows behind you and pillows under your knees to take the strain off your abdominal muscles.

Good body mechanics for any abdominal or back surgery are extremely important. Practice this before your hysterectomy.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

07-12-2003 - 12:05 PM


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