TLDR: This blog looks at what to wear after hysterectomy surgery depending on if you have a keyhole or laparotomy. I have had both surgeries, so this is written based on my real life experience.
Warning: there is a picture of my laparotomy scar half way down which some people may find disturbing.
Why it is important to choose the right clothes after surgery
There are many reasons why it is important to choose the right clothes for after hysterectomy surgery but the main one is your comfort. If you have just had a hysterectomy you have gone through a major operation that has more than likely left you with wounds on your stomach.
You may also suffer from what is known as ‘swelly belly’. This goes down over time and is just because of the gas used during surgery. It may mean you need a size or two up for a couple of weeks so it is important to consider what to wear after hysterectomy surgery so that you are prepared.
There are two different types of hysterectomy surgery, what you will need to wear after them will be different.
What to wear after keyhole hysterectomy surgery
A keyhole hysterectomy is performed via three incisions in your belly and is the less invasive procedure with a quicker recovery time. Your cuts will be much smaller but sit quite far apart on your stomach.
Here is a picture of my stomach after my keyhole hysterectomy. The green cirlcs are where the cuts were so you can see why I am suggesting what I do after this surgery.
You want to wear something that fits under your belly button, or right above it so it doesnt aggravate your site wounds. However, it is more difficult to get something that sits above your belly button, that high. So I am going to suggest clothes that are mid-rise.
For my post my hysterectomy surgery I mainly wore oversized tshirts or a nightie so I didn’t need to put trousers on but if I did need to leave the house I wore joggers that sat just under my belly button so that they sat between the three cuts.
After a couple of week I was able to wear leggings again, which are a little tighter on the stomach but I still wanted them in a size bigger than normal.
Around the house in the evenings I was in my regular PJs as I live an oversized pair of PJs so it would definitely be worth going through your collection of old Chrsitmas stock and seeing what you could make use of (much better for the planet too, thank buying lots of things you won’t wear much. PJ trousers tend to have a mid-rise waist band, so they’re perfect.
I didn’t bother with underwear for the first couple of weeks, I found it can sit a little too close to the cuts as I didn’t have the right ones, as you can see in the picture – they are too low rise and sitting too close to the wounds.
There are also lots of benefits to not wearing underwear, especially post hysterectomy as you can be a little more prone to thrush (I got it big time! You can read about my recovery here) If you want to wear underwear I would recommend mid rise knickers that sit below your belly button buit above your ‘normal’ knicker line.
I had no bleeding after my surgery though, and some people do, so you would want knickers on to put a pad in. Make sure they are mid-rise, like the picture on the right.
Summary: what to wear after keyhole hysterectomy surgery
- Oversized t-shirts / nighties so that you don’t need trousers on
- Midrise knickers or no knickers
- Joggers that sit just under the belly button
- Dig out old PJs
- One size bigger than normal legging after 2 weeks
- If you buy anything get it 1 or 2 sizes up
What to wear after laparotomy hysterectomy surgery
I wrote lots on recovering from a laparotomy so would really recommend you read that ahead of your surgery.
I have had a laparotomy before my hysterectomy so if you’re wondering what to wear after hysterectomy surgery and have had a laparotomy I can give you first hand experience advice!
Firstly, be aware this is a big surgery to go through. It could take around 6 weeks to recover and you won’t be able to do much so it is a good idea to consider what to wear after your hysterectomy so that you are prepared.
Your laparotomy cut will probably be around 15cm. Here is a picture of mine. Sorry it isn’t the nicest to look at!
As you can see it ends around an inch below my belly button, by about an inch, which is why I am going to suggest different clothes for after a laparotomy hysterectomy that I did for the key hole surgery. You really need to avoid midrise here as midrise will sit right on the wound.
I made the mistake of buying some loose fitting trousers in a size or two up from my regular size and they ended up just falling to the top of the incision, constantly.
What you actually need is high rise, loose fitting in your size or one size bigger if you have swelly belly (a term people refer to if their stomach is swollen slightly after surgery) but I found buying in my size was best.
This is so they sit above your belly button and DON’T fall down, you won’t want anything rubbing against the incision. You want them to stay in place.
I loved hareem pants for after my laparotomy surgery. Incase you don’t know what I mean here’s a picture:
They are also sometimes called yoga pants. Here’s a pic of yoga pats.
What I love most about clothes after laparotomy hysterectomy is that you can wear them again, because I am suggesting you buy them in your size. Even if you don’t do yoga, trust me they are so comfy! You can pick these up for around £10 too in the UK so they are budget friendly.
For knickers I suggest you get high rise pair of pants, think Bridget Jones, but again I would go for your size of one size bigger so you aren’t risking them falling down onto the wound.
You may find you bleed after your surgery so you will need knickers for the pad but if you stop bleeding and want to go without knickers I recommend it. I did this and there are lots of benefits to not wearing knickers especially as we are more prone to thrush once in the menopause.
I was back in my regular clothes after around 4 weeks, but this isn’t the same for everyone. I recovered fairly quickly so I would advice that you stick with your lose fighting trousers for 6 weeks and if you are worried about the wound at all, check with you doctor.
Because you will be in them for 4-6 weeks I would suggest you buy a few pairs so you can keep washing them, you really won’t want dirty clothes near the wound.
Summary: what to wear after laparotomy hysterectomy surgery
- Go for your size or one size up in something loose and high waisted
- Buy a few pairs so you can keep them freshly washed
- Get some high waisted pants
- Try hareem pants (aka yoga trousers)
Compression socks after surgery
I was given my compression socks before I went into surgery and I kept these on for what felt like forever : )
In reality it was probably around a week, but I find them so uncomfortable. However, they are to help prevent blood clots when you aren’t moving around too much and you should keep them on for as many hours a day as possible. They really are needed.
This is something I would suggest asking your doctor as the type of surgery you have will mean you need to wear them for different lengths of time.
A laparotomy has a much longer recovery time, so you will be sitting around more, meaning you will need to wear them more.
If you have a keyhole hysterectomy you will be up and about on your feet quicker, so you may not need them as much.
However you had your hysterectomy surgery, put those compression socks and put those feet firmly up! You need to chill.
When can I wear jeans again after a hysterectomy?
I was back in my ‘normal’ clothes which would be leggings, jeans and joggers after around 2 weeks for keyhole surgery and 4 weeks for my laparotomy surgery.
Don’t rush yourself, you want to make sure your wounds are settled and your stomach has returned to normal. There is really no harm in relaxing in your comfy clothes and giving yourself time to heal.
The picture is me in my jeans after my 4 weeks after keyhole surgery, you can see on the top left there is a little wound still but faint.
Hopefully this has helped you with what to wear after hysterectomy surgery. If you have any more questions you can email me [email protected] – I answer all my emails!