Hysterectomy, whether laparoscopic or abdominal, has become a common surgery today being done for a multitude of indications. What is of Importance is that the post-operative rehabilitation of the patient to get her back on feet and into her routine as soon as is feasible. Women form the pillars of their homes and they do have several apprehensions about the do’s and don’t’s post-surgery. The following are a few tips to help patients through their post-operative rehabilitation phase.
CARE OF THE STITCHES:
Keep the stitch sites clean and dry. Clean it regularly with soap and water as advised by your gynaecologist and keep checking for any signs of infection such as redness, wound discharge or fever. Wear loose fitting clothes to avoid irritation on the incision or the surrounding skin.
What to eat:
- Include all seasonal fruits in diet: Each fruit has its own unique nutritive value that helps in post- op healing.
- Increase fibre and water content: A common side effect of hysterectomy is constipation. Including fruits, green leafy vegetables, increasing water intake can help with this. Avoid fruit juices and try to have fresh fruit as much as possible
- Increase protein intake: Healing of tissues post-surgery needs proteins. Opt for lean proteins such as skinless chicken and reduced fat dairy products like plain yoghurt. In vegetarian, choose legumes which also supplies required fibre.
- Avoid saturated fats
Meet your calcium requirement: Your gynecologist will advise you to regularly take calcium and vitamin D supplements. It is important as it will offer protection from fractures.
- Get enough rest and sleep: Be sure to get eight hours of undisturbed sleep; avoid watching TV or using smartphones before sleeping. Avoid coffee or tea before sleeping/
- Meditation: Meditate every morning or practice yoga which can relax you. This can help you to stay active and healthy.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights: This can put pressure on your stitches and increases chances of a hernia.
Will Exercise help Me?
Women who are physically fit and active before and soon after a hysterectomy will likely have an easier recovery and can be able to return to regular physical activities sooner. It helps prevent unnecessary weight gain and complications such as deep vein thrombosis in the postoperative period due to lack of physical activity. A lot of this also depends on the associated medical conditions. A woman can start exercising around 4 weeks after a hysterectomy. Talk to your gynaecologist about the extent of physical activity you are permitted.
All in all, listen to your body and let your body guide you as to how much you can do.