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What is the recovery time for laparascopic supravaginal hysterectomy ?

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Hi!! My name is XXXXXXX and I am having a laparascopic supravaginal hysterectomy in a couple of weeks. I have been told that all will be done through tiny incisions in my abdomin, leaving my left ovary (if possible) and cervix in place, since we know my uterus & right ovary are causing me all the pain and 2-3 times per month period that I have been going through for the last couple of years--and I have MANY MANY fibroids. I want to know the recovery time, healing process, and what I can do to help this along?? I am scared as hell, since my paternal grandmother passed away of ovarian & uteran cancer. I had a transvaginal ultrasound done, and I have to go in for labs this week (surgery is on the 28th of this month)...please help to assuade my fears...and the more info I have, the better I will be...I have 2 kids (ages 21 & 19), and they lost their dad a couple of years ago...I need to know that I will be ok after this, and be around for them.
Are there things that I should be doing prior to surgery to help? How long is the healing process? How long before sexual intercourse can take place (as I now have a fiance and I want to be able to answer his questions also--not just about the physical, but about the hormonal & sexual changes that may or may not occur once the surgery is done)...and when it can resume, is there going to be pain, should it be taken slowly, are there positions to stay away from for a wile til healing is complete, etc?? I am sooo scared and I need some guidance...any answers you CAN answer, or websites that you can point me in the direction of that will help me understand it all better from prior to up through recovery & after the surgery...would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks ahead of time...for taking the time to read this "novel" let alone for trying to help me understand it all....XXXXXXX:)
Posted Wed, 30 Jan 2013 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 5 hours later
Hello, I would be happy to help you with your question.

First of all, just to clarify, the procedure that you are having is called a "supra-cervical hysterectomy", or an LSH. This is a very common procedure, and you should make yourself comfortable with the skill level of the surgeon doing your procedure. In answer to some of your initial questions:
1. The recovery time for an LSH is about 2 weeks at best. Many patients are able to go back to work after two weeks, but some take slightly longer.
2. The healing process is taking it easy and minimizing activity for 2 weeks (I would compare the recovery to that of a birth - with which you have experience)
3. The best thing you can do is NOT over-do anything in the first two weeks. Rest, hydration, healthy diet, and support from your family will all help.
4. The chance of dying from this procedure is extremely rare.
5. You can go about your usual activities before surgery, but do not take any aspirin or ibuprofen like medications for one week prior (tylenol only for pain before the procedure)
6. I would avoid sexual intercourse for about 4 weeks
7. Hormonal changes should not occur if you are able to retain an ovary
8. There will be pain, such as abdominal menstrual like cramps
9. Avoid positions that exacerbate pain postop, but really there are no restrictions on positioning afterwards.

If you are in the hands of a competent OB/GYN with experience in laparoscopic procedures, then you should do fine. This procedure carries much less risk and better recovery than what we used to do (which was a large incison with a 6 week recovery). The risks of the procedure includes bleeding, infection, and injury to surrounding organs (such as the bowels, bladder and ureters). These risks are very low and they definitely should have been covered by your doctor. I understand your concerns and nervousness about the procedure, but if all goes well, you should experience a significant improvement in your quality of life. I am struck, however, with the impression that you may not have had your questions answered appropriately by your doctor. I would recommend writing these questions down and asking for an appointment to actually go over them with the doctor performing the procedure so that they can answer them having a better knowledge of your past medical history and current exam.

I hope that this helps. Please ask if you have any followup questions.
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