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Hysterectomy Hospital Bag – your suggested packing list for hospital

One look at the list below for your hysterectomy hospital bag and you’d be forgiven for thinking we are suggesting packing for year long round the world trip! Before you go faint at the length of this list, please remember it is intended to act as a prompt. You do not need everything listed; it is compiled from recommendations from the members of our HysterectomyUK Facebook page and you will know what is important to you. The explanations should help you decide. Please bear in mind you (or someone you can persuade to do it for you) do have to carry your bag in and get through the door! Continue reading Hysterectomy Hospital Bag – your suggested packing list for hospital

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I am very nervous about having a hysterectomy, is this normal?

Question: I’m feeling very nervous about my forthcoming hysterectomy and I wonder if this is normal or if I’m just a wimp, can you help?

Our Answer: It is perfectly normal to be nervous about having a major operation such as a hysterectomy. In fact it can be helpful, as it will help you to make sure you have enough information about what can, and may, happen to help you feel prepared.

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What are the things I must avoid after my hysterectomy?

Question: I’ve been told that there are a number of things I need to avoid after I have my hysterectomy next month; however I haven’t been told what they are. Can you give me some information please.

Our Answer: The most common things you need to avoid are bending from the waist (say to take washing out of a machine or picking things up from the floor), stretching (say to get something from a high shelf in a cupboard) and lifting anything that is too heavy. However, what is classed as too heavy is variable depending on you and your own body. With each of these actions you use your abdominal muscles extensively and most of the time we aren’t aware of doing so. After a hysterectomy bending, stretching and lifting are using muscles which will have been traumatised by surgery.

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When is it OK to have sex after a hysterectomy?

When you have a hysterectomy you will have internal wounds that require healing. These will be around the neck of the vagina or just above the cervix, depending on what was removed during your surgery. Even if you have a vaginal hysterectomy, these wounds will need to heal.

Sexual intercourse is not recommended until these wounds have completely healed, this can take around six weeks. If you have been given a follow-up appointment with your hospital it would be wise to wait until you have been examined; if you have not been given an appointment with your hospital, then making an appointment with your GP to have a check-up would be advisable.

The reason you need to wait until healing has taken place is because there is a risk of infection to the wound and damage to the stitches and newly forming skin.

You might find this post about managing your sexual health post hysterectomy helpful to read as well.

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When can I fly after my hysterectomy?

It is often a good idea to have a holiday planned following your hysterectomy as this will help you think about relaxing rather than worrying about things you need to do around the house. However, you won’t be able to fly after a hysterectomy for several weeks.

This is because when you fly you increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis, as abdominal surgery increases this risk even more then you effectively double the risk of developing a DVT in flight. The change in air pressure can also cause problems with wounds.

As a result most airlines have policies in place which will tell you at what point they will accept you on a flight. It would also be worth checking with your travel insurer what their policies are as well.

You might find Tracy’s story of benefit too: travel-insurance-and-fibroids-a-timely-tale-tracys-story/

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Should I expect mood swings after hysterectomy even though I’ve been through the menopause?

If you’ve now had your ovaries removed then you will almost certainly have some more menopausal symptoms whether or not you went through the menopause last year or 15 years ago.  This is because our ovaries don’t stop working and producing the sex hormones at menopause as we are normally led to believe. Continue reading Should I expect mood swings after hysterectomy even though I’ve been through the menopause?