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Abdominal Hysterectomy vs. C-Section

From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List

Abdominal hysterectomy vs C-SectionHow does the pain and recovery time of an abdominal hysterectomy compare to that of a C-section?


While it is understandable that abdominal hysterectomies and C-sections are often compared, they are not as similar as one might think. They involve the same organ and a similar incision, but that is where the similarities end. A C-section leaves the uterus intact, while a hysterectomy removes it, with repairs to arteries and surrounding tissues. Also, the difference between coming home with a reward (a baby) and coming home minus a major organ (the uterus which may have carried a baby) sets the two recovery processes widely apart from each other.

Among women who have experienced both a C-section and an abdominal hysterectomy, there are differences in opinion as to which operation is easier. Some women report that their hysterectomy recovery was easier and less painful, while others say that it was more difficult and painful for them. Many patients recovered faster from a C-section, while others experienced a quicker recovery from their hysterectomy.

Any major abdominal is certainly “no walk in the park.” Most C-section patients, as well as hysterectomy patients, experience both good days and challenging days.

The following are sentiments shared through the years by members of Hystersisters.com that illustrate the wide range of reactions and comparisons:
  • "I have had two C-sections and a TAH. For me, they were all very distinct experiences. The hardest was my first C-section, when I weighed the least, was in the best physical shape, and was the youngest. My second C-section was MUCH easier than my abdominal hysterectomy.”

  • "Both my C-section and TAH were bikini cuts with staples that became infected within days of leaving the hospital. I was admitted to the emergency room after the C-section because the infection was so bad. With the TAH I knew what to look for and called my doctor at the first sign of trouble. I had severe gas and painful bowel movements after both, but having suffered so badly with it after the C-section I was prepared for it this time and had the proper meds on hand.”

  • "I had two C-sections and I foolishly thought this would be a breeze because I did so well with my C-sections— wrong! At a month post-op from my TAH, I'm just now starting to turn the corner. Initially, the recovery was the same, but with the C-section I was up and around after two weeks—not so with my hysterectomy.”

  • "I have had eight C-sections and personally, I found my hysterectomy less painful than my last few C-sections. I was up and about much sooner, in the hospital that is, and I used less pain medication. After a C-section, when they push on your tummy to see how far down the uterus is, I would have a fit because of the pain. This time, I was pushing down on my own belly with little pain.”

  • "I've had two C-sections, seven years apart, and now, another seven years later, I had this done abdominally and it hurt much, much worse."

  • "Unlike some others, I must say my TAH was better. I am two months post-op, and I was able to have bowel movements after five days, I am able to bend, shower by myself (since week two), and my husband and I have even danced a little!”

  • "My hysterectomy recovery was more difficult than my recovery from my two C-sections. I think everything getting moved around in there is hard on us. Plus, when I had my C-section I was 18 years younger!"



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.

08-21-2007 - 02:42 PM


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