After you have been discharged from hospital, your recovery will depend on what operation you have had.
Minor day procedures (eg. hysteroscopy, LLETZ, cone biopsy, some laparoscopic and vulval procedures) have a quick recovery time and most women are able to return to normal duties within 48 hours. There are some precautions which need to be undertaken if you have had a LLETZ or cone biopsy to reduce the risk of post-operative complications and these will be outlined in your patient information handout.
If you have had to stay in hospital overnight or for a few days, you will have had a chance to discuss your individual recovery process with myself and the nursing staff. Your bladder function should return to normal soon after routine surgery and will be checked if you needed a catheter inserted. Bowel function generally returns within a few days too. It is important to realise that everyone recovers at a different rate so any written information given may not be specific to you.
Your wound will generally have dissolvable sutures used to close them and may also have a waterproof skin glue applied on top. You can wash yourself normally and do not need to use any special soaps or shower gels - just keep them clean and dry.
On your return home, you should be able to function on a day-to-day level as you did before your surgery (eg. getting in and out of bed, gentle walking, dressing yourself, attending to hygiene) but should limit any exertive exercise and activities. You can expect that in the day and weeks following your surgery you will experience less pain and bleeding but if you experience any significant changes to these symptoms or are concerned please promptly seek medical attention.
I will arrange a post-operative appointment to see you and check how your body has recovered. At this appointment I will generally examine your abdomen and may need to do an internal examination if you have had surgery involving the cervix or vagina but this may be delayed until a few weeks has passed to allow for adequate healing time. This appointment also provides an opportunity to talk about how you’re feeling and ask any other questions you might have.
Generally, women will have completely recovered from their surgery and be able to return to normal activity 1 week after a laparoscopy, 4 weeks after a laparoscopic/robotic hysterectomy and by 6 weeks after open abdominal surgery.