Enhanced Recovery Programme – Anita’s Story

I had a prophalactic laproscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy on 02.04.2012 undertaken due to strong family history of bowel and endometrial cancer.

I was very apprehensive prior to admission as, at first glance, the enhanced recovery programme diary appeared to be setting out very strict guidelines. However they were only ‘guidelines’.

The diary had space for comment if you weren’t able to follow any instruction. i.e. sit out on day of surgery, get dressed, eat in dining room. The staff were amazing. I had my surgery late afternoon and came back to ward with usual catheter, iv and morphine pump.

Once all tubes etc out following morning, I was assisted to en suite to wash, then to chair. I rested on my bed when I needed to and sat out when I could. My meals were brought to me. That may have been because I was having a trial without catheter and output needed measuring but it appeared that the programme helps people to know what to expect and they then do the best they are able within those guidelines.

I was amazed to find that I didn’t have a lot of pain or dragging sensation and in fact the worst thing was the shoulder pain resulting from the CO2 gas dispersing!!! I am now 5 days post op and feeling good. I realise that I was lucky that I went into surgery in good health. Good luck to anyone about to undergo similar surgery X


in my own words book coverNow available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.

Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.

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  1. It depends on whether you are flying or not and what the policy of the airline and your travel insurer is. I’d check with them to make sure you are covered and then it’s down to whether you feel that you are able to travel remembering that you won’t be able to lift things like suitcases 🙂

  2. Im very confused by all the advice i’m being given. Im due to have vaginal hysterectomy and repair at the end of July. I work in a school and planned to go back afterthe 6 week summer holiday. However the date of surgery clashed with a holiday booking, but my surgeon seemed to think that I would be fit to go away on holiday later in summer holidays so encouraged me to re book the holiday. He has told me he expects a week of relative inactivity, then week 2 starting to do more until by week 4 I should be able to do most things – he therefore thinks a holiday at weeks 5 and 6 will be fine and back to work in week 7. Looking at discussions on this website Im not so sure about that timescale. What do you think?

  3. my hospital is piloting the enhanced recovery programme, which I undertook following an open sub-total hysterectomy with right salpingo oopherectomy. I was back up on my feet and walking around by the following day and home by day 2. As long as you listen to your body and rest, it really was a far more pleasant experience than I expected.

  4. Hi Nichola, Have only just seen this. You may have already had your surgery but if you haven’t…..Try not to be scared. We all worry about having surgery but try to think positively and I’m sure you will look back and wonder why you were so scared.
    PRE OP.
    Stay as fit as you are able, lose weight if you need to. Try to ensure everything is up to date at home so that you won’t worry about household issues post op.
    Listen to what the nurses say!!! If you have a physical job, standing a lot or driving, you may need 12 weeks off.
    Enlist support of husband/partner/mum/friend and take recovery time as special time for you.
    Listen to your body!!! When you have got past initial minimal aching in abdo it is so easy to forget you have had anything done. DON’T BE TEMPTED TO OVERDO THINGS.
    Wishing you well with your surgery. I am now 7 weeks post op and am feeling fantastic.
    Anita x

  5. Minimum of six weeks despite the vaginal hysterectomy and expect more if your job is physically demanding such as standing, walking, lifting or driving for a large part of it.

  6. I am awaiting hysterectomy (total) vaginally. Living in Gloucestershire and don’t know how long waiting list is at the moment.
    Feeling really scared. What is the best way to prepare and any tips for post operative please.
    How much time should I book off time – all comments helpful. Thanks N