Recovery Times For Three Types Of Hysterectomies

A hysterectomy is a big decision for a woman because it essentially involves removing the uterus or some part of the womb. It's performed to help relieve pain, get rid of cancers, or stop the woman from getting sick from a serious infection. There are three different types of hysterectomies that a woman can choose from, with the help of her doctor, that have varying recovery times.

1. Abdominal Hysterectomy

An abdominal hysterectomy is when a woman's uterus is removed by cutting a long incision in her abdomen. This procedure will often require that a woman stay in the hospital for at least one or two days, although it could easily be longer. Although the scars tend to heal well, most doctors will recommend that a woman that undergoes this procedure does not engage in any heavy lifting, sexual activity, or other strenuous activities for at least six weeks. Some doctors will even recommend bed rest for those full six weeks. 

2. Vaginal Hysterectomy

A vaginal hysterectomy is when a woman has her uterus removed through a hole that is cut in her vagina. The doctor is able to access the uterus with a long pair of clamps that sever the body's ties to the uterus and pull it out. After the uterus has been removed, the doctor will stitch up the cut that has been made in the woman's vagina using stitches that will eventually be absorbed by the body, allowing the woman to avoid having to go back to the doctor and get them removed. The recovery time for this procedure is usually at least one or two days in the hospital, followed by three or four weeks of rest. A woman that has undergone this surgery should not lift anything heavy for a full six weeks following the surgery.

3. Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

A laparoscopic hysterectomy is when the doctor cuts a small hole, usually no larger than a key-hole, in the woman's abdomen and then inserts a camera. This camera is used to carefully use surgical instruments to take out the woman's uterus or part of her uterus. Because of the enhanced vision, only a few other small cuts will be necessary. The recovery time for this procedure is usually between one and two weeks. 

Before making any decision, you will need to speak to your doctor. Although more than 80% of hysterectomy's are abdominal, more and more doctors are advising patients to have more minimally invasive surgeries. Talk to your doctor about other possible options that might work for you.