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Tummy Care | Swelly Belly

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List



What is Swelly Belly? What causes it? How do I get rid of it?


First of all, the term "swelly belly" (Latin term: Swellibellicus) is a HysterSisters word that refers to post-op swelling of the abdomen. It can occur in any type of hysterectomy procedure, but seems to be more prevalent in abdominal surgeries.

Swelly belly is caused by trauma to the abdominal tissues, gasses used during surgery, and/or fluids collecting in the tissues due to trauma during surgery.

If you've ever sprained your ankle or been stung by a bee, you've probably had some swelling at the injured site—the same principles apply for swelly belly.

Swelly belly is NOT fat, or weak muscles (though they may contribute), or last nights lasagna collecting around your mid-section (though that can also contribute).

Swelly belly seems to make an appearance soon after surgery in most ladies (though not always all) and may hang around for several weeks or even months. It is worsened by too much activity, lifting things that are too heavy, being on your feet too long, stuffing yourself in jeans that are too tight, and just generally overdoing it. It also seems to be worse in the evenings, after a long day of overdoing it.

So, you ask, "How do I get rid of it?" You don't. It has to go away on it's own. Resting may help: not overdoing it, not lifting things that are too heavy, not being on your feet too long. Avoid all possible triggers for your case of Swellibellicus,

Sometimes a good support panty can help too, but again, make sure it isn't too tight, or it can make the problem worse. (Support panties work with swelly belly like putting a pressure bandage on a sprained ankle can take the swelling in the ankle down.) Occasionally, ice packs or a heating pad may help too, but check with your doctor first before using either.

What won't help? Exercise, especially too soon, though after your doctor has released you, it will help tighten up your abs. But the swelling in the tissue may not disappear with exercise. Dieting may not help either. If you had somewhat of a tummy to begin with, you may notice some improvement, but dieting will not get rid of the swelling in the tissues.

So what's a girl to do? Just wear your swelly belly proudly; don't sweat the small stuff. Swelly belly is just one of those things you may have to endure until your body has healed. A small price to pay for getting rid of painful periods, excessive bleeding, fibroid tumors, cancer, or whatever else was the reason for your surgery.

The HysterSisters Store has the Perfect Pocket Abdominal Binder which is a wonderful product that provides support while cooling the incision.

If your tummy becomes hot, red, or painful, please call your doctor. This is NOT normal and NOT part of the normal post-op swelling. Any unusual symptoms, or anything that you're not comfortable with should be reported to your doctor immediately.



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

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HysterSisters Articles

Options to Hysterectomy
Pre-Op Hysterectomy
Post-Op Hysterectomy
Hormone and Menopause
Intimacy after Hysterectomy
Pelvic Floor
Fitness after Hysterectomy
GYN Cancer
Grief and Loss
Endometriosis
Uterine Fibroids
Hysterectomy Stories
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Recommended for Hysterectomy Recovery

The HysterSisters Store has gathered products made specifically for your recovery from surgery. Here are the best sellers we can recommend to help you:

  • The Great Binder Set - We have made it very easy for you and combined the two best binders and the Silky Sac into a great set to save you money! Our favorite is the Perfect Pocket binder with cold/hot packs!
  • Deluxe Hyst Prep Set - As you plan, we've gathered the best products into one set for special pricing.
  • Post-Op Panty - These great panties speed recovery, and reduces scarring. They contain a medical-grade silicone panel over incision to reduce scar's apperance while they provide support to weakened muscles and tissues from surgery. Excellent!
  • Softest Bra Ever - When you want to wear something, but feel nothing. This is the softest bra ever, in microfiber with no hardware or tags to chafe or dig! The comfort-ribbed underband stays in place gently, so it is perfect for sleeping and lounging.
  • HysterSisters Accessory Kit - Are you a HysterSisters fan? This set has a fun collection of HysterSisters items.
  • Very Private Moisture - Once your doctor gives you the green light for intimacy, this is the stuff! This is a best selling product with a high rate of permanent, satisfied, repeat customers! Relieves vaginal dryness instantly, protects tissue & enhances intimacy. "Buy it for the problem, use it for the pleasure."




Find a Surgeon

HysterSisters Doctor Directory
David Mainman, M.D.
Desert Bloom Obstetrics & Gynecology
6452 E. Carondelet Drive, Suite A
Tucson AZ 85710
520-885-5300
Arnold Advincula, M.D.
Florida Hospital Celebration Health
400 Celebration Place
Celebration FL 34747
(407) 303-4573
Christopher G. Olson, M.D.
1220 Hobson Rd #116
Naperville NJ 60540
630-416-3300
Jack Inge, M.D.
4414 Lake Boone Trail
Suite 300
Raleigh NC 27612
919-781-5510
Sara Wood, M.D.
621 S. New Ballas Rd, Suite 2002
St. Louis MO 63141
3142516753
Stephen Zweibach, M.D.
815 S Parsons Ave
Brandon FL 33511
8135712777
Geoffrey Bowers, M.D.
2401 E Evesham Rd
Suite A
Voorhees NJ 08043
856-424-3323
Andrew Blechman, M.D.
1944 Rt 33 Suite 101B
Neptune NJ 07754
732-776-3797
James Kondrup, M.D.
161 Riverside Drive
Suite 109
Binghamton NY 13905
607-770-7074

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April 19,2014

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