Our physiotherapist Liz Brown offers advice on how to recover well from a hysterectomy
Hysterectomies are an incredibly common gynaecological operation for women across the world. While some initial physiotherapy exercises are provided post-operation, it is SO important to continue with your pelvic floor, breathing and lower tummy activation as you progress.
Everybody and every body is different. Hysterectomies are carried out for a variety of reasons from eliminating heavy periods, to ongoing pelvic pain, fibroids (non-cancerous tumours) to cancer.
As there are four types of hysterectomy and three different approaches for surgeons to choose from, a one-size-fits-all rehab doesn’t always tend to work. Some women also want to return to their sport such as tennis, Pilates or running, which will require a couple of extra specific strengthening exercises.
Must-do Tips & Info for After Hysterectomy
- MASSAGE your scar after it’s started to heal. This is incredibly important to allow your abdominal muscles to work together again during rehab. An E45 or coconut oil would do fine – at least 5 minutes twice a day.
- TALKING to other women who’ve had the same operation can really help with getting through any menopausal-like symptoms or sense of loss. You may have hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after the operation.
- TAKE CARE in opening heavy doors / fridges (or avoid altogether if possible). This will really strain your abdominal area and is something to work up to with your physio 6-8 weeks after the operation.
- LOSS OF LIBIDO straight after the operation, however this can return around 4-6 weeks after with no issues.
- WALKING is highly recommended after surgery, along with swimming (once your wounds are healed).
- RETURN TO WORK is possible 4-8 weeks after surgery, however any heavy lifting must be avoided until you’ve regained your abdominal strength.
- RETURN TO DRIVING can be 3-8 weeks post-operation. Notify your car insurance as they may require a clearance certificate from your GP before you return to the road.
Best Exercises to Focus on:
- Belly breathing
- Pelvic floor
- Lower tummy activation
Best Exercise After Rehabilitation:
Pilates or any core-based class.
Contact our physiotherapist Liz Brown for details and support with exercises.
online at: www.almaphysiotherapy.co.uk/appointments
tel: 0778 8242028
For a free 10-minute phone call to chat about anything Women’s Health or Pelvic Floor, call Liz on: 07788242028.
Liz Brown is an HCPC, CSP, POGP registered physiotherapist with a speciality in women’s health (pre- & post-partum). She also offers 1-2-1 pilates, post-surgical and post-injury rehabilitation, medical acupuncture and taping.
Virtual Physiotherapy Sessions: all £25 (an option if you are Shielding or unable to visit the clinic)
Clinic Physiotherapy Sessions (patient must wear mask):
- Physiotherapy 60 mins: £55
Follow-up Physiotherapy 30 mins: £40
6-block Physio package (IA + 5 follow ups): £200
Pilates (patient must wear mask):
- 1-2-1 Pilates 1 hour: £45
- 3 pilates sessions £120 (instead of £135)
- 6 pilates sessions £240 (instead of £270)
References & Links
- Mukhopadhaya, N. and Manyonda, I.T. (2013) ‘The hysterectomy story in the United Kingdom’, Journal of Midlife Health, vol 4, no 1, pp40-41