ZocdocAnswersHow soon after a hysterectomy can one swim?

Question

How soon after a hysterectomy can one swim?

I had a hysterectomy for uterine cancer last month, and I seem to be healing properly, which is good. Can you give me a schedule for safely resuming physical activities? I especially want to swim, but I don't know when it's safe to.

Answer

Hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, is the most commonly performed gynecological surgical procedure. There are multiple techniques such as abdominal, vaginal and laparoscopic vaginal hysterectomies and depending which one you had will affect your recovery. Also your underlying health and other medical problems will affect how quickly you recover. Remember that everyone recovers differently so it is important to talk to your doctor about your specific condition. Some general guidelines are to increase your physical activity gradually every day. Slow down if you experience pain or fatigue. Usually you will be able to resume your normal activities in four to six weeks. You should be able to drive when you feel capable and are no longer taking narcotic pain medications, usually around two weeks. Avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds for the first four weeks and then increase weight gradually as tolerated. Light swimming is usually permitted two weeks after surgery, but avoid strenuous swimming until at least four to six weeks. Resume your exercise routine slowly and modify it depending on how you feel. After hysterectomy you are usually able to return to work in three to six weeks, depending on which procedure you had. Always check with your surgeon for his or her specific recommendations.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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