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Ch-ch-changes – Must Have Hysterectomy Recovery Items

Ch-ch-changes – Must Have Hysterectomy Recovery Items

Yesterday, I talked about my hysterectomy, and today, I’m going to talk about the changes that I’ve had to deal with AND the tools that helped me get to the place I’m in today. Because there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Promise.

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After having a c-section with the twizzlers, I was mildly aware of the recovery and that I would be in pain for a bit of time. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact that my hysterectomy would be outpatient and that I wouldn’t feel pain at my incision site after about a week. The difference between my hysterectomy and c-section though? The ability to pass the gasses and have bowel movements. It’s an ugly side of having a uterus that needed to be removed, but it’s not always the norm, so you shouldn’t expect it. Laughing, coughing and sneezing though? Still hurt like the dickens.

Anyhoo, here’s a list of must have hysterectomy recovery items.

Must Have Hysterectomy Recovery Items

1. Recovery Pillow

Trust me, you’ll need this. From pressing the pillow against your stomach when you cough, sneeze, rise to a standing position, or in my case – laugh like a loon – it will come in handy. The pillow helps alleviate much of the discomfort from these activities, and can also be used to sit on in the case of a bruised rectum like I had. Sitting flat on any surface does not help that feeling.

2. Mesh Underwear

Yep! Let’s take it back to baby deliveries! Even though your uterus will be removed, therefore the source of blood in general, you will bleed a bit from your vagina after surgery. It shouldn’t last for days, but the days following surgery will be a bit messy. You’ll also need the mesh panties to pull over your incisions without making it feel like you have a vice grip around them.

3. Belly Binder

I know. I just talked about not having a vice grip around your belly, and now I’m telling you to bind it up. You’ll know why if you decide NOT to get a belly binder, and then stand up to go to the bathroom, and your stomach drops. Didn’t know your stomach could drop you say? You’ll find out after surgery on that area. Quickly. I’ve had three – hernia repair, c-section, and hysterectomy, and every single time, the stomach drop almost took me out.

4. Stool Softener

I shouldn’t have to explain this, but you know. Jiggling around in your stomach area affects your digestive system a little more than you think. It may take a while for things to move as efficiently as they did before surgery, and well, it may hurt if you don’t have help. Also make sure to drink PLENTY of water. If you think you’ve had enough, drink more. It makes it irritating to go to the bathroom, but you will appreciate being ahead of the problem instead of behind (get it?) it.

5. Scar Gel/Ointment

I purchased Mederma from CVS, but you can get it almost anywhere. It’s helping with the scarring, as long as I remember to use it daily. That’s the key here. Daily use.

7. Comfortable Clothes

You want loose-fitting clothes. T-shirts, cotton dresses, and you want to avoid having anything pressing against those incisions. The belly band doesn’t put pressure on your incisions because of the width of it, but waistbands need to be soft and LOOSE. I lived in a housecoat and long t-shirt pajamas. People who came to visit just had to deal. Compression ankle socks (these have fun prints) aren’t a bad idea either. Even with elevating your legs, some swelling may happen, and if you can prevent it, why wouldn’t you?

8. Easy Entertainment

My friend Melisa sent me color pencils and coloring books to help pass the time, and I love her so for it. If you also have a subscription to Amazon Prime you can watch quite a bit for free. Since you can’t lift, or run, or exercise right off the bat, you’ll need to figure out a source for your entertainment. If your doctor is anything like mine, you won’t be able to just lay in bed all day, so find something that you can do while walking a bit. Audiobooks are great as well. You can subscribe to Audible if you are the kind of person who enjoys listening to books rather than reading.

I also read quite a bit on my Kindle Oasis too. There isn’t too much one can do from their couch or toilet, and my Kindle accompanied me everywhere. It’s amazing the number of books you can get through when you’re confined to one room for a long period of time.

9. Walking Shoes

Because you need to walk. Because you’ll want to pass gas and poop. There are no more reasons. If you have a 75-year-old moonlighting as your 8-year-old daughter, they will set timers on Google Home to make sure that you are walking for a certain time each day.

10. Patience

Your body is not mine, and mine isn’t yours. Some people stated that they were out running again after 2 weeks. Others felt the need to go full-blown shopping as soon as their incisions stopped hurting. I fall into neither of those categories. As a matter of fact, I’m more of the – I’m almost at 6 weeks post-op and my dog bit me, causing me to be put on antibiotics and develop a yeast infection – type person. When I fall, I fall spectacularly. Swelling is common. It’s going to be common for a while. Your stomach was cut open for goodness sake. I attended a conference after being medically cleared and STILL became swollen. It happens. I just rested and listened as all of my friends tsk-tsked me for being too active – even after six weeks of resting.

Must Have Hysterectomy Recovery Items

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Friday 4th of August 2023

I'm doing the full hysterectomy with removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes through the vagina and will have no incision. Would you still recommend getting a belly binder for that recovery? I'm having the procedure done in about a week and a half and I am nervous. But I feel it's all for the best and I'm 52 years old so it's not like I'm using the space we're going to use it anytime soon in regards to hosting anybody. Lol.

Natasha Nicholes

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

I'm not sure on the belly binder for that type of surgery. I know that my OB's main concern with removing my uterus that way was supporting my bladder afterward. Isn't social media cool? Discussing uteri, vaginas and all of that good stuff. I would honestly ask your surgeon what they suggest with support for that time. I'm most certain you will need to have some sort of pad to help with bleeding though. Wishing you well with the surgery!


Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

So I am 5 days post surgery and my god did I need to read this. I am struggling!!! The pain and not just the incision from an abdominal hysterectomy but also the back pain. I feel like a little old women hunched over. Sleep- what is sleep. Unable to get comfortable in bed, not comfortable downstairs, ridiculous.

I was not prepared for this at all. Even after a c section 5 years ago this is dreadful!!!

Sneeze and coughing Is horrid too. I’m trying to be positive and think of the end goal and the life I will hopefully have when I’m recovered…but right now I feel so ill. Teary, shivering, headache, stomach in constant pain, lack of sleep, unable to eat. Is this normal?

Natasha Nicholes

Wednesday 24th of May 2023

Hi Cath,

I am so sorry that you are experiencing the rougher side of your hysterectomy. I hate that you have to deal with it. The Sneezing/coughing pain is normal. Your surgeon had to go through 8 layers of dermis in order to get through to remove your uterus. It's even worse with the c-section cut for a hysterectomy. Shivering, headache, etc., is also normal when having that type of surgery. And getting older makes recovery rough too. It's one of the ways that I knew that I had to be much kinder to my body and honor it through rest and asking other people to do things for me. Keep me updated if you choose to. I'd love to keep tabs on you!

Mary Anne

Saturday 3rd of December 2022

Hi. Thanks for this list. Im having my hysterectomy next week. This is due to abnormal uterine bleeding. Sending hugs, love and thumbs up ro those who had and who will have their surgeries ❤️

Natasha Nicholes

Tuesday 21st of February 2023

Hi Mary Anne! I do hope that your hysterectomy surgery was easy on your body and your peace of mind. I also hope that this list helped in your healing process as well!

Rachel McChattypants (@RASnyder7)

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Thank you so much! Mine is coming up right after Christmas. Not ideal, but the pain will hopefully end! I appreciate your help!

Natasha Nicholes

Tuesday 21st of February 2023

What a belated Christmas present. I hope that all went well.

Abbi Vincent

Wednesday 17th of August 2022

Thank you so much!!! I am getting ready to have a full hysterectomy next Thursday 8-25-22.


Friday 19th of August 2022

I am also scheduled for a full hysterectomy on 08-25-22. I am 65 years young and scared. I have been reading so many stories online and have to say, everyone is so upbeat and their writings so helpful.

Natasha Nicholes

Wednesday 17th of August 2022

No problem! I know that all of our bodies are different, but this is a good start for sure! Speedy recovery.

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