HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy
Returning to Work after Hysterectomy
From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List
When can I go back to work?
Many variables are involved in considering the question of when you can safely return to your job following a hysterectomy. The standard disability period for a hysterectomy, issued by most medical providers, is six weeks. However, factors influencing a hysterectomy patient’s release to return to employment may include:
- Your age and overall physical condition and health prior to surgery
- Type of hysterectomy performed (abdominal vs. vaginal vs. laparoscopic)
- Add-ons to hysterectomy surgery including pelvic repairs, bladder work, tummy tuck, etc.
- Complications, if any, from surgery and during recovery
- Overall health issues which may impede recovery, such as obesity, smoking, other diseases and medical conditions present before surgery
- Environmental factors including your home life and family responsibilities (if any)
- Physical requirements of your occupation
- Required work schedule
- Travel time and mode to and from work
- Job stress
A physically-fit 30-year-old with no children who had a less-invasive type of hysterectomy and works at a desk job a mile from home could likely return to work earlier than a 45-year-old raising five children who had an abdominal hysterectomy with bladder suspension, who climbs telephone poles for a living, and drives nearly an hour each way to her job. Likewise, a smoker who is overweight and works as a district attorney with a typical 50-plus-hours-per-week schedule might have a rougher time returning to work than a slender non-smoker half her age who works as a receptionist in a day spa.
If you feel able and wish to return to work prior to your official medical release date, get your doctor’s approval first. Your doctor should evaluate your healing and overall health and discuss your job responsibilities with you, and then make a decision as to whether it is safe for you to return to your regular employment.
If your doctor authorizes you to return to work and you don’t feel ready, consider trying to negotiate with your employer to start back part-time, and/or with less-demanding physical duties If your job primarily consists of physical exertion—particularly lifting, pulling, climbing and activities that involve the abdominal muscles—please proceed with caution when you do return to work. Let your supervisor and co-workers know that you may not be able to perform at 100% capacity for a number of weeks, due to the fact that you had major abdominal surgery. If they are made aware of the circumstances, you will find that most people are accommodating and sympathetic towards those who are still “on the mend.”
Remember that healing from your surgery still occurs for many months after your discharge from the hospital. Make sure that your employer, and anyone else involved, understands your healing process and your gradual transition to your former capacity.
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.
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Recommended for Hysterectomy Recovery
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