This article discusses the benefits of hot tubs after hysterectomy and what you need to know before getting into a hot tub.
Hot tubs are a great way to relax after having a baby or undergoing a hysterectomy. They can also be used for various other purposes, such as improving circulation and increasing muscle strength. But first, let's answer a few questions.
Can I soak in the tub after surgery?
After surgery, the doctor will advise against swimming or taking a hot bath until the wound has healed completely. Once the wound has healed, a hot bath can help your body eliminate toxins and relieve soreness.
Key Takeaways: Showering or sponge baths are perfectly okay, but hot tubs will have to wait until wounds are completely healed.
How long to wait to bathe
Normally it would take weeks for incisions to heal, as in the case of traditional open surgeries. But with the advent of laparoscopic hysterectomy, incisions heal faster at around 1-2 days. Most women prefer this procedure over conventional open surgeries.
Your surgeon will give specific instructions regarding baths. Generally, you can safely take a bath between 12-48 hours after surgery. Meanwhile, you can take a shower or sponge bath if you want to keep yourself clean and fresh.
Key Takeaways: Incisions from laparoscopic hysterectomy heals between 1-2 days, after which it is generally safe to take a bath.
How long after surgery can you submerge your incision?
You can submerge your incision as soon as you can absorb a normal amount of fluid. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to submerge your incision within 24 to 48 hours after surgery, as in the case of laparoscopic surgery. It would take much longer for larger incisions, well between 2 to 6 weeks.
Be careful not to peel off the Steri-Strips holding your incisions. Just cut off the dangling pieces and let them fall off on their own. Visibly check and feel the incision to ensure they're completely healed before dipping onto a hot tub.
Key Takeaways: Steri-Strips are meant to keep your incisions closed until they are fully healed. Avoid soaking them in water for at least 24 hours.
How long does it take to heal internally after laparoscopy?
Your incisions might have already healed after a day or two, but in reality, your body will need more time to heal internally. Healing time for laparoscopy is typically about two weeks. But of course, it depends on the type of surgery and the patient. In most cases, people can expect to be back at work in about a week.
You will likely need to rest during this time and avoid strenuous activity. You may experience some pain, swelling, or discomfort, but it should eventually improve. This is where hot tubs play an essential role as it helps relieve soreness and improve blood circulation allowing your body to heal faster internally.
Key Takeaways: Your body heals longer internally. Avoid strenuous activities for at least six weeks.
How to clean your body after surgery
Here's what you can do to speed up the healing process after you've undergone a hysterectomy:
- Clean your body immediately after surgery with gentle soap and water. Just be careful not to soak your incisions for at least 12 hours. Until you can safely soak in water, sponge baths will help reduce the risk of complications with your incision.
- Use mild soap to clean each incision site as directed by your surgical team.
- Check with your physician if you experience pain, swelling, redness, or itchiness.
A Word of Caution When Taking a Hot Bath:
Some doctors recommend that women wait six weeks after a hysterectomy before using a hot tub or sauna, as your body needs time to heal after the surgery. It also needs time to adjust to not having a uterus or ovaries anymore before being exposed to extreme heat in these environments.
Incision sites are susceptible to infection, so it's important to follow the guidelines set by your surgeon. Keep your incisions from becoming wet and soft as much as possible. Otherwise, the Steri-Strips holding the could fall off prematurely.
Key Takeaways: Never soak your incisions until they are healed completely to prevent infection. You'll also notice some changes in your body temperature after the procedure.
A hot tub after a hysterectomy is excellent for relaxation and a very effective way to reduce stress and promote blood flow. Just remember to follow this guide or get the all-clear from your physician first if in doubt. You'll heal faster and make the process more enjoyable.