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A hysterectomy can be an invasive and complex procedure that leaves you stiff and restricted in your movement for weeks afterward. Although physical therapy isn't always required for hysterectomy patients, you should still consider it, particularly if you undergo an abdominal procedure instead of a vaginal one. Besides improving your basic comfort level, physical therapy can also reduce the long-term impacts of the surgery on your body and get you back on your feet sooner in the following four ways.
Lowering Your Risk for Post-Operative Complications
A standard hysterectomy is relatively safe, but there's no denying its dramatic impact on your body, as well as the complications that can occur after the surgery. Perhaps the most serious of these are blood clots, which can occur in your chest and also in your legs due to extended bed rest. Your physical therapist can help you keep your blood pumping normally and perform deep-tissue massages to discourage the formation of these clots as well as guide you safely through the early recovery period, when you will likely be limited to brief walks until your strength returns and your body has healed sufficiently.
Discouraging the Formation of Scar Tissue
Abdominal hysterectomies use larger incisions than vaginal ones and may also affect more pelvic tissue during the removal process. Whenever you undergo such an extensive surgery, there is a potential for scar tissue, or adhesions, to form. This can be especially troublesome in your pelvic area, leading to chronic pain and structural flaws that can range from irritating to debilitating. Your physical therapist may practice scar massage therapy, which is thought to improve circulation to healing areas and encourage the growth of healthy tissues over adhesions.
Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor
Your pelvic floor is the web of ligaments and muscles that hold your pelvis in place while you are standing and walking. Whenever you remove some of the organs that once supported and were supported by your pelvic floor, natural weakening is likely to occur, and you may find that you suffer from incontinence and pain for some time after your surgery. Progressively longer walks are the first step to rebuilding your pelvic floor, but your therapist can also show you methods such as Kegel exercises to improve your strength and control more quickly.
Minimizing Your Recovery Time
After your first few days of recovery, you will likely hit the point where your mind is ready to get back to normal life, but your body isn't quite as willing. If you lead a busy and active life, physical therapy is an essential tool to get you up and moving again without risking complications or injury. Talk to your surgeon or check around your area for a physical-therapy service to assist you with your recovery and leave you feeling normal once more as quickly as possible.
Talk to a professional such as Hillcrest Nursing Center for more information about recovering from a procedure like a hysterectomy.Share