Hysterectomy is a major surgery and you may wake up feeling tired and with some pain after its procedure is over. This is normal after any major surgery. Recovering from a hysterectomy takes time and during this period, you will be advised rest and may not be able to perform daily chores such as lifting something heavy or even driving. The hospital stay depends on the type of hysterectomy you have undergone and what your doctor recommends, but in general it is for a few days.
Discharge from the hospital after hysterectomy depends on the time you take to recover. It depends on many factors including your age and your general level of health and the type of surgery. After vaginal hysterectomy, most women may be able to leave after 1-4 days and after an abdominal hysterectomy, it will take about 2-5 days before you are discharged. Laparoscopic hysterectomy is a less invasive operation, and hence the hospital stay is for a shorter period of time, provided there are no complications. Before you are discharged, a follow-up appointment will be arranged. It is usually 6-12 weeks after the surgery to check on your progress.
If the ovaries are also removed along with the uterus, you may experience menopausal symptoms after your operation. These may include symptoms such as hot flushes, anxiety, emotional crisis, excessive sweating. If you have these symptoms consult your doctor. You may be given hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It can be in the form of an implant, via injections or tablets.
Many women may feel depressed after hysterectomy and the depression may persist. Your doctor will be able to advise you about the available treatment options. Joining a support group or talking to other women who have had hysterectomy may provide you with the much needed emotional support and reassurance.
Hysterectomy does not eliminate the risk of cancer of cervix. Some women are advised to have Pap smears after hysterectomy. If the cervix is not removed along with the uterus (women who have had a subtotal hysterectomy), experts recommend that Pap smears should be done every two years until the age of 70. Your doctor can advise you regarding your need for Pap smear and how often it should be done.