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How to Help a Hysterectomy Patient

From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List

How to Help a Hysterectomy PatientCaring for a recovering hysterectomy patient is unchartered territory for most. There are many things that may be helpful that family members and friends would never think of! On the flip side, there are many things that seem harmless that might actually be dangerous for hysterectomy recovery.

Here is a general list:

Suggestions for Hysterectomy Recovery:
  • Access to the computer
  • Plenty of herbal teas (variety of flavors)
  • International coffees (variety of flavors—no caffeine!)
  • Scented candles for her room
  • Fresh-cut flowers
  • A bedside telephone
  • Control of the remote when she is awake
  • A good variety of ice creams
  • Crushed ice in the freezer for cold, icy water
  • Interesting fruit juices in the refrigerator
  • One last box of "supplies" for the spotting until she is healed
  • A water squirt bottle for toilet encouragement and gentle cleanup
  • A card or two, with special notations about love
  • A hand-written love note
  • Simple, but tasty meals full of fiber (but not gassy foods)
  • A breakfast in bed every now and then
  • A simple candlelit dinner when she's ready to sit up for an evening meal, even with the kids. Make mom the guest of honor—have her remain in bed until everything is ready!
  • An invitation to lay back in your lap to watch a movie and while you brush her hair
  • A foot massage
  • Encouragement to walk around the house
  • A safe environment to walk and heal (i.e. all toys, clothes, newspapers are picked up and off the floor. (This is physical safety, so she won't slip and emotional safety, so she won't get upset)
  • Or better yet, a clean house, especially the recovery room
  • A cleaning service to clean the house a few weeks after she is home
  • Extra pillows (A body pillow is GREAT, a donut pillow for bottom repair)
  • A new robe/pjs (no long gowns! They get tangled in the bed)
  • Lots of sleep!
  • A tilted bed to help with restless sleep while recovering with incisions
  • Frequent check-ins for juice/ice refills
  • A warm (not hot) water bottle or heating pad. This can be applied to the tummy or back as needed
  • Prepared fruits and vegtables such as carrots, celery, apples, and oranges
  • Back rubs
  • Emotional support—this is just as important as physical support during the first couple weeks.
  • Lots of hugs, especially when she is feeling a little emotional
  • Quality time with loved ones
  • Movie nights
  • Walks (if doctor approves)
  • REST. A hysterectomy is a major surgery, and full recovery can take up to a year. Rest is very important to the recovery process.

No-nos for Hysterectomy Recovery:
  • Lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk
  • Driving
  • Doing laundry
  • Cooking
  • Shopping
  • Walking up and down stairs
  • Vacuuming
  • Dusting
  • Doing any other housework without doctor's release

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.

04-10-2003 - 11:08 AM


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