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Walking after Hysterectomy

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

Walk after HysterectomyWhy do I need to walk after surgery?

In the days following your hysterectomy, walking is about the only exercise you will be able to do safely. Your activity level will be restricted for several weeks, but walking will be a way you can get up and move around safely.

Moving after surgery is just as important as resting. Staying still too long can lead to serious, and even life-threatening complications. The combination of the time spent in bed, the effects of anesthesia, and the drying of your lungs from the oxygen can cause secretions to pool in your lungs. As a result, you could develop pneumonia which could complicate your recovery and compromise your long term health.

Additionally, your lack of movement, along with any damage to your blood vessels during surgery, can put you at risk for a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in a deep vein. When your muscles are not being worked adequately, and you are spending a significant amount of time lying around, blood can pool and clot, especially in your legs. If one of those DVTs then breaks off, it can travel to your lungs, blocking blood flow to them. This blockage, known as pulmonary embolism (PE), can be life-threatening. A DVT can also damage the vein where it has formed.

Another benefit of walking is that it can help prevent and treat constipation. Thanks to the pain medications, anesthesia, changes your body has been going through, and inactivity, constipation is likely to occur at some point during your recovery. Walking can decrease the amount of time it takes for your food to move through your system. The quicker it moves through the large intestine, the less water it absorbs. When too much water is removed, stool becomes hard and dry, making it uncomfortable to pass. Taking a short walk and drinking a glass of water every hour or two can help your system work better and, thus, minimize constipation issues.

To add to the list, walking can also help with gas issues. As your digestive system works better, the amount of painful gas produced can be minimized. A better-working digestive system can also increase your appetite. As you eat better, you will feel better.

As your walks increase, so will your stamina. Walking is a gentle way to help your body build back up in the early days of recovery. Not to mention, it is good for your heart, it can help with depression, and it provides a change of scenery.

In the first days after surgery, your trips may only be to the restroom and back, or a circle around your living room. However, as the days go by you can lengthen your treks to include a trip to a nearby mailbox and, eventually, a circle around the block. Always listen to your body, and don’t walk until you are tired: remember, you have to make the trip back home! It can be a good idea to keep your cell phone handy in case you walk too far and need a ride home. A swollen tummy and/or increased pain can be indicators you have walked too much and need to cut back on the length of your trips. As the saying goes, "slow and steady wins the race." Be well, be patient, and be careful.

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.

11-21-2013 - 11:48 AM


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