Yesterday I spent the evening chatting with a friend of mine on the phone about her frustrations to lose weight. My friend had a hysterectomy two years ago, and although she has fully healed physically from the surgery she continues to heal emotionally. Before the surgery my friend was only slightly overweight, however being laid up after the surgery and finding comfort in food caused her to gain quite a bit of weight. In the last year she claims she has tried different diets to lose weight, but none of them seem to do any good. At this point she is concerned that managing weight loss after a hysterectomy comes with different challenges she may not have prepared for. In an effort to understand this better, last night after our phone call I did some research about how a hysterectomy can affect weight.
Not all women will have to face the reality of a hysterectomy, but it is something some will go through. Some have this as an elective surgery, but it is usually done as a result of a medical condition. It can be done as a result of cancer, or perhaps a patient has uncontrollable endometriosis and the best answer for them is to have the hysterectomy. There are many emotional and physical ramifications that come with a hysterectomy. Just one of these things would be possible and unexpected weight gain after the surgery.
Having a hysterectomy is a major surgery. This means there are going to be restrictions when you have gone through the procedure and are sent home to recuperate. As with anything like this, you are going to be put on bed rest and then limited activity for a while. This can be a prime time for you to put on weight. Some people lose appetite after surgery, but they generally get this back long before they can resume normal activities like exercise. You have to watch what you eat.
Your surgery is also going to limit your exercise program greatly for a period of time. It depends on your doctor’s recommendations and how well you heal. However, you can expect that your appetite and eating too much after surgery is not your only problem. If you exercise regularly, you are going to have a hard time lying still. You could lose some of the progress you have made as well. Ask your doctor about things you can do safely while healing – if there is anything at all. Also, take it easy when you get back to exercise, as you may not be in as good of shape as you were before the operation.
Hormones can play a small role in weight gain after hysterectomy, but does not have to be a huge factor if you understand what is going on. When a hysterectomy is performed, the body no longer produces estrogen on its own. That means it must be supplemented. This will not cause weight gain, but it can cause fluid retention. Also, progestin can cause appetite to rise, but most do not actually need to take this after a hysterectomy. Talk with the doctor if this is a concern.
Managing weight loss after a hysterectomy comes with some unique challenges both physically and emotionally, but that does not mean it is impossible. If you understand the changes that will happen to your body physically and mentally then you will be better able to prepare and do what you can to keep extra pounds from piling up post-surgery. Have an ongoing discussion with your doctor about your concerns and what you may be doing right and wrong. This can help you keep weight gain to a minimum and get the extra off once you are restored to full health.
Other Related Posts and Articles You May Find Interesting: “Top Reasons Why You Cannot Lose Weight“, “Menopause Diet“, “Hormone Replacement Therapy“, and “Weight Loss, Insulin Resistance and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome“.