How long after surgery does it take to feel completely "normal" again?
I had surgery for a large (approx. 9 cm) ovarian cyst which had become painful and affected my quality of life. Before I agreed to the surgery, my symptoms were :pain, bloating, fatigue, dizziness, diarrhea, loss of desire to exercise due to pain (I am a very active , athletic individual). I had the surgery approximately 4 weeks ago.
I had thought that once it was removed and after a reasonable amount of time I would feel completely better and "normal" and healthy again. But I still feel these symptoms and I just don't feel like my old self...like I was before this ever happened.
I am so conscious of this area of the body now and suffering from this lingering "soreness" in the area where it was removed. I love sports and now when I engage in my regular activities, it only seems to exacerbate the soreness I feel.
Is this "normal"? How long, on average, do you think it takes to feel completely "fine"?
I appreciate all your help with this!
I'd say roughly 3 months (12 weeks) if you have open abdominal surgery, even though most are told they can return to normal activities in 6 weeks. No way was I fully healed in 6, but I was OK for an easy desk job. Still had trouble with anything strenuous until months had passed and still got fatigued easily. Was OK in the morning but by afternoon would be exhausted. It takes time.
It is very likely you are doing too much. It takes time to heal. Cut back on your activities, no housework outside of dishes or cooking and get lots of rest. You will see that in a couple of weeks that you will start to feel much better. Every time you overdo it it puts you back.
Laparoscopic surgery is not considered open surgery, but it can take awhile to heal from that as well. No matter what, it is abdominal surgery and they've done work internally that is going to take time to heal. I had to heal internally and externally from a laparotomy (about a 4 to 4.5 vertical incision). Everyone can heal at a different pace plus the amount of internal surgery varies from person to person since whatever is being removed is often located differently in each person. Cysts don't always sit in the same places. My doctor did a full abdominal exploratory of other organs along with the other scheduled work, so I was hurting over a widespread area for awhile. I guess others get that extra work done as well when doctors are making sure "all is well" before closing up.
This surgery is "pretty major" in my doctor's words. It's important to be patient with yourself and let all the things you want to do wait a bit until you are well enough.
The first time one pushes an upright vacuum on carpet is a very telling moment as to how much healing you still have to do. Even if is seems like you feel OK, a few hours later you can feel pain and that can set you back a day or two until you feel better. That's if you do too much too soon.
Thank you so very much for your pearls of wisdom!
I was led to believe that all I needed was to get this cyst out of my body, then afterward I would be fine & dandy again in no time! I feel as if some doctors just don't have a handle on what it's really like to be a patient. Or they try to minimize the severity of the situation. When I went back for my 2-week post-surgery appointment and I told the doctor I still feel some pain/soreness in that area, he said to me "Really?"...as if I was joking or something!
It's just so hard to go from being very active on a daily basis to almost the opposite in such a short span of time from when I was diagnosed with this cyst.
I am so grateful for all your advice because this has been such a difficult experience for me and it feels so good to know there are others who are sympathetic and offering words of wisdom & support. I wish you all the best of health and peace of mind! :)
I'm 18 days post op, after an open abdominal for removal of a 12 cm fibroid. Just back from a 7 mile bike ride, feeling woozy. Yesterday I walked 1.5 miles and felt so great that I did a 3 mile bike ride, still felt fine. Today, I'm wiped out! (It was a lot hotter, but I didn't go fast.) I won't go that far again for a while. It was too much.
I was supposed to have a laprascopic procedure, and I'm resistant to the fact they ended up having to do open abdominal. Yesterday, I scrubbed the tub and did 3 loads of laundry, worked at my desk for 4 hours, and awoke feeling tired but not as bad as the last 17 days had been.
I'm going to take it easier this week than I have this weekend. I still feel pain and soreness; changing from sitting to standing is tough on the muscles under my lungs; and I feel wiped out by 3:30-4 PM most days and spend the rest of the day watching Netflix or reading.
All this said, I'm REALLY already glad I did this surgery. My period is the lightest it has been in 8 years, completely manageable, and I can tell I will be far less inhibited by "regular" pain when this healing process finally ends. I'm longing to go back to yoga and crew rowing and see what difference missing that stupid fibroid will make in my performance levels.
I hope with all my heart that by the time I'm 3 months post-op, I'll be back to mostly normal!
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