Gynaecological surgery may have been performed through your abdomen (tummy), vaginally (birth canal) or keyhole surgery using a laparoscope. Rates of recovery will vary depending upon your operation, age, lifestyle and fitness levels before the operation.
Many Gynaecologists will suggest that women see a specialist physiotherapist prior to surgery to prepare the body maximally and to assist with making necessary arrangements for the recovery period.
A pre-operative session may include;
- Pelvic floor muscle assessment and individual home exercise programme (it is easier to perfect the exercise technique before surgery)
- Beneficial circulatory and chest exercises
- Tips to aid walking and transfer between chair and bed with an uncomfortable scar
- Expected recovery time scale
- Activities to avoid post-operation
Post-operatively physiotherapy can minimise the risk of complications and restore normal function as quickly as possible.
Women's health physiotherapy can be beneficial through;
- Enabling more easy movement and facilitating comfortable rest positions
- Providing exercises to prevent chest and circulatory problems
- Providing safe exercise for the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles
- Safe suggestions to regain previous levels of fitness
- Tips to avoid constipation
- Practical hints to complete activities of daily living, for example, shopping, housework and gardening
- Resuming sexual relationships
Gynae-oncology - surgery and treatment
Women's health physiotherapists also support women following surgery or treatment for gynaecological cancers.
Common symptoms following chemotherapy, radiotherapy or brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy) treatments include vaginal or abdominal pain, bladder incontinence, bowel problems - constipation, bowel urgency or difficulty controlling wind and pain during sexual intercourse.