Prolonged bed rest increases the risk of pneumonia and blood clots in the legs. A quick return to normal activity after gynecologic surgery should decrease the likelihood of these problems. For most women, normal activity includes walking, lifting, and climbing stairs.
You may start walking for exercise on day 1 Walking is the best activity following surgery. You can walk up and down stairs, outside, and on a treadmill. Walking will keep your circulation going and build back your stamina.
The day after your operation you should be able to go for a short 10 to 15-minute walk in the morning and the afternoon, having a rest afterwards if you need to. You should be able to increase your activity levels quite rapidly over the first week. There is no evidence that normal physical activity levels are in any way harmful and a regular and gradual build-up of activity will assist your recovery. Most women should be able to walk slowly and steadily for 30-60 minutes by the middle of the first week, and will be back to their previous activity levels by the second week. Swimming is an ideal exercise and, if you have had no additional procedure, you can start as soon as you feel comfortable. If you have had other procedures with the laparoscopy, you may need to avoid contact sports and power sports for a few more weeks, although this will depend on your levels of fitness before surgery.
- It’s important to drink as much fluid as you did before the surgery.
- On your first day at home, have light liquids and foods such as apple juice, ginger ale, ice pops, soup, crackers, and toast to help prevent stomach upset.
- Avoid citrus juices such as orange juice and tomato juice. You may gradually add foods.
- By the second day after surgery, you should be able to return to your regular diet.
- Since most prescription pain medications cause constipation, it’s important to drink plenty of water, eat foods that contain fiber such as fruits and vegetables, and stay active. Ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs by eating a healthy balanced diet. A healthy diet is a highfibre diet (fruit, vegetables, wholegrain bread and cereal) with up to two litres per day of fluid intake, mainly water.
- Remember to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day!
- Avoid foods that cause gas such as broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.
- Iron – to help build back any blood lost during surgery.