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A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus (womb) and often the cervix (neck of the womb). Following the operation, you will no longer be able to have children and will stop having periods each month. The surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic so you will be asleep during the operation and will not be able to feel anything.

Recovery from a hysterectomy is often quite long and physiotherapy is a very effective way to help you gradually return to your full fitness as soon as possible. Physio.co.uk have specialist women’s health physiotherapists that are experienced at treating women following hysterectomies.

There are different types of hysterectomies depending on why you are having the surgery:

Total abdominal hysterectomy: removal of the uterus and the cervix through the abdomen (stomach)

Subtotal hysterectomy: only the uterus is removed

Vaginal hysterectomy: the uterus and cervix are removed through the vagina

Laparoscopic hysterectomy: small incisions (cuts) are made in your abdomen where the surgeon will insert a tiny camera too see the area before the uterus is removed

Radical or Wertheims hysterectomy: the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and part of the vagina are removed usually due to cancer

The experienced physiotherapists at Physio.co.uk can work with you to design a tailored treatment programme to optimise your recovery. Physio.co.uk will recommend beginning your treatment programme slightly before the operation to maximise the success of the operation and prepare you for afterwards.


Physiotherapy prior to a hysterectomy



Your physiotherapist at Physio.co.uk will have various physiotherapy treatments to keep you as active as possible before your operation. Possible physiotherapy includes:
  • Upper limb strengthening exercises
  • Strengthening pelvic floor muscles
  • Transverse abdominis exercises
  • Cardiovascular exercise including cycling and walking
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Lower limb strengthening exercises
  • Preparation for your physiotherapy programme after the operation

Symptoms following a hysterectomy



There are a number of symptoms that you may experience following your operation. Your physiotherapist at Physio.co.uk can help you identify these and help to manage them appropriately. Possible symptoms may include:
  • Temporary pain from the operation
  • Reduced strength and cardiovascular fitness
  • A scar from the incision
  • Swelling around the wound
  • Temporary loss of sensation around the wound due to damaging of the nerves during the operation
  • Temporary bruising around the wound

Physiotherapy following a hysterectomy



You may be in hospital for 5-7 days depending on the type of hysterectomy and your recovery rate. When you have been discharged, it is important to begin your physiotherapy programme created by by your physiotherapist at Physio.co.uk as soon as possible.


Week 1



The following treatments may be included:
  • Advice on scar management
  • Pelvic floor strengthening exercises
  • Pain control modalities
  • Elevation exercises
  • Advice about the most comfortable positioning
  • Simple mobility exercises such as walking
  • Tranverse abdominis strengthening exercises
  • Lower limb strengthening and range of movement exercises

Weeks 2-6



Your symptoms should now be reducing and you will feel able to gradually return to your normal daily routine. Physiotherapy with Physio.co.uk may include:
  • Progressing all strengthening exercises
  • Upper limb strengthening and range of movement exercises
  • Progressing transverse abdominis exercises
  • Carrying out pelvic floor exercises in more functional positions
  • Including more functional activities relating to your hobbies or work
  • Pacing advice

Week 7 onwards



You will now be gradually returning to your normal activities of daily living and be experiencing little or no pain. After six weeks you should lifting activities without pain although you should not lift heavy amounts for up to 6 months. Your physiotherapy programme with Physio.co.uk will now concentrate on functional activities relating to your goals. Your physiotherapist at Physio.co.uk will advice you on when you can drive again although this usually can take up to 12 weeks.


Summary



A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus and sometimes other reproductive organs such as the cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Physiotherapy before and after your operation is recommended to help you return to your normal daily routine as soon as possible. The experienced women’s health physiotherapists at Physio.co.uk will create an individualised programme to facilitate a successful recovery and reduce the risk of any long term complications. To book a physiotherapy appointment, call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 today!


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Phone: 0330 088 7800
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