Hysterectomy means the surgical removal of the uterus or womb. There are different kinds of hysterectomies depending upon what all organs are to be removed along with the uterus, like the cervix, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. It can be a total, partial, or radical one. The most common indications for Hysterectomy include — endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, chronic pelvic pain, uterine cancer, and hernia of the uterus. It can be through an abdominal incision, vaginal or laparoscopically assisted.
Return to activities of daily living safely after a Hysterectomy is crucial. Some simple exercises post-hysterectomy can accelerate your recovery. The progression of exercises varies with the type of Hysterectomy incision. Rest is advisable for the initial two weeks post hysterectomy. Avoid any heavy weight lifting for 4-6 weeks.
- Short walks, breathing exercises, ankle pumps, static quads, and static glutes are good to start with and help with recovery.
- Kegel exercises– Take a deep breath and squeeze the muscles around your vagina as if trying to stop your urine flow. The feeling is one of squeeze and lift. Hold for the count of five, and then relax. Do ten repetitions thrice a day.
- Pelvis Tilts- Lie down with knees flexed and pointing towards the ceiling; flatten your back against the floor by gently tightening your abdominal muscles and buttock. You will feel your pelvis rolling backward. Hold for five seconds. Relax and repeat ten times.
- Knee rolling- Start in a crook lying position, lying flat on your back with knees bent. Roll both knees together to one side, hold for 2-3 seconds and bring them back to the starting position. Repeat to the other side. Do ten reps on each side.
- Hip adductor isometric hold-Lie down on your back with hips and knees flexed to 45 degrees and feet flat on the ground. Place a medium-sized rubber ball or a pillow between your knees and press it for 5-10 seconds, release it and repeat ten times.
- Hip Clams-Lie on your side with your knees bent and hips one over the other. Keeping your feet together, slowly raise your top knee toward the ceiling. Hold for five seconds, and slowly bring back your knees together. Do ten times on each side.
Avoid high-impact exercises, core training, and strength training with heavy loads after a hysterectomy. Do not perform abdominal crunches and sit-ups for six weeks post-surgery. Pelvic organ prolapse is a probable complication of doing any contraindicated activity post-hysterectomy.
Do consult your doctor before starting any exercise program after a hysterectomy. This article is for general awareness and exercise guidelines. Each case requires a customized exercise program.
STAY INFORMED! STAY HEALTHY!