Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: Getting Back to Normal
Around the house
It is very important that you avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for six weeks following surgery.
You can quickly build up your day to day activities around the house and to going out for walks or going to the shops. There is no evidence that normal physical activity levels are in any way harmful and a regular and gradual build-up of activity will assist your recovery. If you are unsure, start with short steady walks close to home a couple of times a day for the first few days. When this is comfortable you can gradually increase the time while walking at a relaxed steady pace. Many women should be able to walk for 30 to 60 minutes after two or three weeks. If you feel any pain you should try doing a little less for another few days.
Within the first six weeks remember to lift correctly by having your feet slightly apart, bending your knees, keeping your back straight and bracing (tightening or strengthening) your pelvic floor and stomach muscles as you lift. Hold the object close to you and lift by straightening your knees.
Contact sports and power sports should be avoided for at least six weeks, although this will depend on your level of fitness before your surgery.
Each insurance company will have its own conditions for when you can start driving again. Check your policy.
Before you drive you should be:
- free from the sedative effects of any painkillers
- able to sit in the car comfortably and work the controls
- able to wear the seatbelt comfortably
- able to make an emergency stop
- able to comfortably look over your shoulder to manoeuvre
In general, it will take two to four weeks before you are able to do all of the above.
If you are considering travelling during your recovery, it is helpful to think about the length of your journey as long periods where you are not able to move around (in a car, coach, train or plane) can increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Long haul fights are not recommended within six weeks of surgery. You should also ask yourself:
- Would I have access to appropriate medical advice at my destination if I were to have a problem after my operation?
- Does my travel insurance policy cover any necessary medical treatment in the event of a problem?
You should usually allow six weeks after your operation to allow your scars to heal. It is then safe to have sex – as long as you feel comfortable.