Most patients recover completely from hysterectomy. Removal of the ovaries causes immediate menopause and hormone replacement therapy (estrogen) may be recommended.
The average hospital stay is from 5 to 7 days. Complete recovery may require 2 weeks to 2 months. Recovery from a vaginal hysterectomy is faster than from a abdominal hysterectomy. If the bladder was involved, then a catheter may remain in place for 3 to 4 days to help the bladder pass urine. Moving about as soon as possible helps to avoid blood clots in the legs and other problems. Walking to the bathroom as soon as possible is recommended. Normal diet is encouraged as soon as possible after bowel function returns. Avoid lifting heavy objects for a few weeks following surgery. Sexual activities should be avoided for 6 to 8 weeks after a hysterectomy.
Updated by: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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