Since my hysterectomy was an emergency situation, I did not have time to research the procedure as much as I would have liked. I was picking up bits of information from passing doctors, nurses, and even a patient, and tried to piece it all together. I learned that the surgery would have a recovery of 4-6 weeks and started to make plans for not being at work for that time. I also knew that I would have several incisions afterwards with which I would need to be careful. I figured there would be pain and soreness in those areas.
Once out of surgery, I was pleasantly surprised with the minimal amount of pain I was dealing with, nothing that ibuprofen couldn’t handle. However, I was quite surprised with where I was hurting…my shoulders! What? How exactly is this surgery done and why are my shoulders even a part of it? I clearly missed something in the explanation! Well, I soon discovered that when having a laproscopic hysterectomy, they need to ‘puff’ you up with air so they can see what’s going on. After you’re all sewn up again, some of that air remains in your body for a little while. It’s common for this air to move up into the shoulders causing some discomfort. Who knew? The shoulder pain subsided within a day or so as did most of the puffiness I had acquired during my hospital stay.