Hysterectomies are one of the most common surgeries for women in the United States. A partial hysterectomy is when only the uterus and fallopian tubes are removed. There are several surgical options for a partial hysterectomy. Your recovery time and process can vary depending on the removal method.
All hysterectomy surgeries are done as inpatient hospital procedures. Your hospital stay will range from two to five days. The most common type of partial hysterectomy is an abdominal hysterectomy, which involves an incision into your lower abdomen. A vaginal hysterectomy involves removing the organ through your vagina. Both the abdominal and vaginal hysterectomy can be done as a laparoscopic procedure. A laparoscopic procedure involves smaller and fewer incisions.
Recovery time for a partial hysterectomy can vary from a few weeks to a few months. Laparoscopic procedures have shortened recovery times since the incisions are small. An abdominal partial hysterectomy tends to have the longest recovery time.
All partial hysterectomy procedures involve general anesthesia. After you wake up, you may feel nauseous or be in pain. Your doctor can prescribe medication to ease both symptoms. You may also experience bleeding and discharge for the first few days after the surgery.
Avoid lifting anything over 20 pounds during your recovery. Doing so can cause bleeding or cause your incisions to open. You should be able to resume lifting a few months after your surgery.
After your partial hysterectomy, your levels of progesterone and estrogen will begin to decrease. Progesterone level will drop quickly in the first two months, while your estrogen levels will decline slowly over the next two years. These changes can cause a low sex drive, thyroid deficiency, depression, hot flashes and night sweats.
During recovery, drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods, take your pain medication and exercise. Exercise is important to help lower your risk of blood clots and lung infections. You should start with light exercises like walking or stretching. Save the heavy workouts and weight lifting until your doctor tells you it is OK.