The Risks of Running After a Hysterectomy

Your recovery period for a hysterectomy varies, depending on the type of hysterectomy you and your doctor decided upon 12. If you have a common abdominal surgery, expect to wait four to six weeks before you're able to exercise again. If your hysterectomy was done laparoscopically or vaginally, you'll need to rest for at least three to four weeks before returning to a regular exercise routine, such as jogging or running 12.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Don't Rush -- Rest

Rushing to return to your running routine is not recommended. A hysterectomy is a major surgery and your internal organs need at least four to six weeks to heal before you start any kind of high-impact exercise program 12. Although the incision may look healed, there are stitches inside your abdomen that need time to heal too. Even if you feel better before the end of your recovery period, it's important that you follow doctor's orders and avoid running until the recovery period is over to prevent setbacks and injuries, which could extend your recovery.

Increased Pain

Even if your surgery was the less invasive laparoscopic or vaginal hysterectomy, your recovery period could be painful 12. Instead, begin gradually with walking short distances and gradually work your way back up to a running routine -- after your doctor gives her approval.

Incision Tearing Open

One of the most dramatic and painful drawbacks to running before you've healed is re-opening the incision. While your doctor uses stitches to close the incisions during surgery, excessive, sharp movements and constant irritation could cause the incision to open. An open incision is more likely to become infected and cause even more pain. Since the incision takes longer to heal, it also has a greater risk for more noticeable scarring.

The Risk of Infection

An open incision is susceptible to dirt, germs and bacteria, which often results in infection. But even closed incisions become infected when you don't care for them properly. Running soon after your surgery introduces bacteria and sweat to the outside of the incision. If your incision becomes infected, it could result in a longer recovery time, the need for antibiotics and other complications during the healing process. If your incision becomes warm to the touch, is bright red or oozes pus, or you begin running a fever, contact your doctor immediately.