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Too Much Too Soon After Hysterectomy?

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List


Too much too soon after hysterectomyI'm recovering from my hysterectomy, and I feel great! I've heard warnings from others not to do too much too soon. What are the risks?

Regardless of how many external stitches or staples you have, any type of hysterectomy involves a number—possibly hundreds—of internal stitches. It is this internal healing that can take anywhere from six months to a year to be complete.

If you strain yourself too soon, you risk tearing some of your stitches. This is one of the most catastrophic things that can happen. This can result in bleeding and possibly even hemorrhaging. There are women who had to go back to the hospital for emergency surgery and blood transfusions.

When your tissues are healing, they are very sensitive to being pulled and squeezed. Scar tissue wants to form wherever there are internal incisions, and if there is even a tiny amount of bleeding inside it can 'stick' areas together that shouldn't be stuck together. As a result bridges of scar tissue called adhesions can form between organs or tissues that should not normally be connected.

In some cases, these adhesions can grow over time until they occupy large areas of the pelvis and connect some or all of the organs there. Occasionally, they can even grow nerves and their own blood supply. As a result, every movement pulls on something it shouldn't, causing intense pain.

Sometimes a further surgery can be done to remove these adhesions. Sometimes, if vital organs are involved, surgery is too dangerous. If that becomes the case, the only solution is a lifetime of pain medication.

Strong, sudden movements can cause little tiny tears in the tissue that will promote adhesion formation, whereas slow, fluid movements keep things loose and free. Walking is great, as is slow swimming after your doctor has cleared you to be submerged in water (usually at the six-week mark).

You only get one chance to heal properly, so it's up to you to make the most of it! Look at it this way: you and your surgeon are partners. Your surgeon's part was to do the very best job s/he could do in the operating room. Now your part is to make sure you don't undo all that good work. In order for you to have the best possible outcome, you BOTH have to do your parts!

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.

04-28-2003 - 05:51 AM


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