Taking care of yourself at home
Your recovery time after a hysterectomy will depend on the type of surgery you had, your age and general health. Most women say they feel better within six weeks.
Take things easy for the first few weeks and only do what is comfortable. Ask family or friends to help you with chores so you can rest as much as you need to.
Depending on the nature of your work, you will probably need 6 weeks leave from work.
Walk regularly if your doctors say it is okay to do so. Gentle exercise can help speed up recovery. Speak to your doctor about when it is suitable to start more vigorous exercise.
Drink plenty of water and eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruit to avoid becoming constipated.
You’ll need to avoid sexual intercourse for at least 6 weeks to give the vaginal wound time to heal properly.
Take showers instead of baths and avoid swimming for 4– 6 weeks after surgery.
Avoid heavy lifting for about a month, although this will depend on the type of surgery you had.
A/Prof Penny Blomfield, Gynaecological Oncologist, Hobart Women’s Specialists, and Chair, Australian Society of Gynaecological Oncologists, TAS; Karina Campbell, Consumer; Carmen Heathcote, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland; Dr Pearly Khaw, Consultant Radiation Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; A/Prof Jim Nicklin, Director, Gynaecological Oncology, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Associate Professor Gynaecologic Oncology, The University of Queensland; Prof Martin K Oehler, Director, Gynaecological Oncology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA; Dr Megan Smith, Program Manager – Cervix, Cancer Council NSW; Pauline Tanner, Cancer Nurse Coordinator – Gynaecology, WA Cancer & Palliative Care Network, WA; Tamara Wraith, Senior Clinician, Physiotherapy Department, The Royal Women’s Hospital, VIC. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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Surgery is a medical treatment performed by a surgeon or a surgical oncologist to remove cancer from the body or repair a part of the body affected by cancer
Recovery after surgery
What to expect in the hospital recovery room and ward
Caring for someone having surgery
Tips for the support person and visitors