The length of time it takes to recover after a vaginal hysterectomy at Kingsbridge Private Hospital will be different for every woman, and it can take up to a couple of months to get back to full health. Most women find they are able to return to work between two and six weeks after the operation.
It is common that you may have some pain in your lower abdomen after the procedure. If you need pain relief, you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Always read the patient information that comes with your medicine and if you have any questions, ask your pharmacist for advice.
When you get home it is recommended that you take it easy for a few days. You will likely feel more tired than usual. If you have been given exercises to do, try to do these regularly.
Keep lifting to a minimum. You can lift light items, such as a kettle, but don't lift anything heavy for about four weeks after your surgery. It is recommended that you have a friend or relative to stay with you for the first few days while you recover.
It's usual to have some bleeding for about one to two weeks after the procedure.
You will need to wait until your scar has healed before you start to have sex again. This will take between four and six weeks. How comfortable you feel about sex after a hysterectomy and when you feel ready will vary for every woman. You may feel more sexual pleasure because the problem that meant you had to have a hysterectomy has now gone. However, some women feel a sense of loss after a hysterectomy and may find their libido (sex drive) is reduced. Your consultant at Kingsbridge Private Hospital will talk to you about these issues and any concerns you may have before you have the procedure.
What are the risks?
As with every procedure, there are some risks associated with a vaginal hysterectomy. Risks are specific to you and differ for every person. Individual risks will be discussed at you consultation.
Side-effects are the unwanted but mostly temporary effects you may get after having the procedure. Side-effects of a vaginal hysterectomy include:
- abdominal pain
- vaginal bleeding
If your ovaries have been removed during the procedure, you will have menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness.
Complications are very rare but possible complications of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic or developing a blood clot, usually in a vein in the leg (deep vein thrombosis, DVT).
Specific complications of a vaginal hysterectomy can include the following.
- Blood loss.
- Damage to other organs and tissues in your abdomen, particularly your bowel, bladder or ureters (tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder). This can cause incontinence or a need to urinate frequently.
- A wound or urinary infection. You may need antibiotics to treat this.
- Premature ovarian failure. There is a risk that if your ovaries aren’t removed, they may not work properly because they receive some of their blood supply through your womb.
- Prolapse of the vagina where it was cut.
- Nerve damage.
At Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast we endeavour to provide patients with a Five Star service and state-of-the-art facilities. We ensure you are in the best hands available.