If you enjoy running or are an active runner, the thought of a hysterectomy could be terrifying. You might wonder, “How long will I be out?” “When can I start running again?” “Will I ever be able to return to my previous ability?” “Will I be able to race again?” The short answer is YES YOU CAN. It will take a while, but a full return to running after hysterectomy is 100% possible.
The recovery time for a hysterectomy is much longer than for an endometriosis-related surgery (to search for and remove endo implants), or an oophorectomy (ovary removal). Obviously, the more invasive the procedure, the longer your recovery time will be. The good news is that if your body was in good health before your surgery, you may experience a faster recovery time.
The trick to getting back to running, or really any exercise, is to allow ample time for your body to heal. If you try to run too soon, you may injure yourself and be out even longer. Oftentimes patients call in or come in complaining of sharp abdominal pain several weeks after their surgery. Most of the time, the patient has resumed normal activities too soon– they felt great but their body was not ready. Lifting the laundry basket, pushing the vacuum, or even taking the dog for walk could be too much. It’s difficult for active women but incredibly important that you allow your body time to heal and rest. And when you resume activity, you can’t just jump right into it. It is important to start with slow walking for a few days, then fast walking, then start mixing in a few minutes of jogging. Next week let’s set up a realistic guide to help you pace your return to running.