Question: I’ve had a hysterectomy and my belly is so tender and swollen. What can I do about my swelly belly?
It sounds like you are experiencing the “Swelly belly dilemma” as HysterSisters often call it.
First, let’s understand your swollen belly. You should manage your tender incisions carefully following any kind of abdominal surgery, and follow your surgeon’s instructions.
Note: If your tummy becomes hot, red, or painful, please call your doctor. This is NOT normal and NOT part of the normal post-op swelling. Report any unusual symptoms, or anything that you’re not comfortable to your doctor immediately. Keep your incisions dry and covered according to your doctor’s instructions.
One of the challenging aspects of having surgery like a hysterectomy is post-op swelling of the abdomen. It can occur in any type of abdominal procedure: open abdominal, laparoscopic, robotic hysterectomy, tummy tuck, hernia repair and even c-section.
Trauma to your abdominal tissues, gasses used during surgery, and/or fluids collecting in the tissues cause your swollen tummy.
Amazingly, you may think keeping everything away from your tender belly is the answer.
Gentle compression is often the answer
Next, let’s understand the potential solution. Compression after a hysterectomy (laparoscopic or open abdominal surgery), myomectomy, appendectomy, hernias, tummy tuck is helpful to your recovery! Compression aides to reduce recovery time.
Binders support your tummy and back, allowing you to move with less pain and greater mobility. Additionally, abdominal binders provide incision support, help prevent tearing, and make it easier to get out of bed, move and walk.
And, yes, a binder is great for both horizontal and vertical incisions, as well as for minimally invasive surgery.
Products for gentle compression
Finally, the good news is that there are products made just for your belly.
Perfect Pocket Binder has a pocket for an ice pack (2 cold/heat packs come with this binder) for the early days of recovery, providing ice pack to your tender belly.
Abdominal binder is another specifically shaped binder for women with a simple velcro closure to adjust sizing. These are worn under clothing and they have darts to shape the product to minimize the binder from moving or rolling as you sit, stand and move around.
Post-op Panty provides gentle compression and support as you are preparing to get on with your life and is worn as underwear, under your regular clothing.
Hopefully, your swelly belly will go away soon enough and you can ease back into your activities with the help of the gentle compression. Always consult your personal doctor for specific health needs you experience.
Be kind to yourself,