Abdominal Surgery Recovery: When will my Life Go Back to Normal?

Abdominal Surgery Recovery

Recovering from Abdominal Surgery

When you come back to the hospital room after undergoing a surgery, you will be closely monitored by the hospital nurses, especially if you had a major abdominal surgery. Besides monitoring your vital signs, nurses will ask you to do breathing exercises, coughing, leg movements and to get out of the bed. These steps will help avoid complications. From your end, you will be expected to report any of the following abnormal symptoms to the nurses:

  •  Nausea
  •  Anxiety
  •  Muscle spasms
  •  Severe pain
  •  Shortness of breath

Abdominal Surgery

So, you have just been through an abdominal surgery. Understand that your body needs time to recover from it and to adapt to its new form. Let’s see in detail about the recovery process here. Keep reading…[1]

After Abdominal Surgery:

The question which continuously rolls in the minds of people is, “how quickly can we get back to normal after surgery?” Well, the answer is that it greatly depends on the type of surgery you had, open or less invasive. In general, you will know if its okay to return to your normal activities if you hear your body. It will tell you when you are alright.

When it comes to getting back to normal after abdominal surgery, medical experts say that recovery is more about how the recipient feels about it. However, the patient should not try to do too much or too soon after surgery because it may lead to a hernia if an organ pushes through the abdominal wall that is weak. Typically, the reasonable time to get back to normal is when a patient feels he/she is ready for activities.

Recovery differs with the type of surgery:

As mentioned earlier, the timeline of recovery will highly dependent on the type of surgery you have undergone. It also will depend on the patient and the type of problem that caused the surgery. Today, minimally invasive surgeries are booming and most of the cases are prescribed with laparoscopic and robotic procedures. These surgical procedures are performed using narrow and skinny instruments that will be made to enter the body through smaller incisions.[2]

However, in some cases, minimally invasive procedures will not be safe for the patient and at those times, open surgery that needs a major incision. As it sounds obvious, duration of recovery will take longer for these surgeries while we need to wait for the abdominal wall to repair itself.

Here, it’s to be noted that both minimally invasive and open surgeries will need sutures to close the openings and these must be given the time to heal. This is when your activities will be restricted in order to prevent the tearing of incisions. Once the sutures have held the tissues together for some time, the patient’s body will take over by filling the openings with scar tissues.

To give an idea, let’s say that your body will get back to normal a lot more quickly if you have had four, 1-inch incisions when compared with the open surgery. According to health specialists, to help with faster recoveries, using a post-surgery abdominal binder is recommended.

When can you go back to your everyday activities?

Lifting & Strenuous Activities:

The abdominal muscles are meant to protect your back during these activities. After an abdominal surgery, these muscles may be weaker and therefore, you need to be cautious about these activities for a minimum of 6 weeks post surgery.[3]


When you can go back to your work, will largely depend upon the work you do. You are advised to have a gradual return by starting off with light duty or minimum hours. Always discuss with your surgeon to know when and how to return to your work.


When it comes to driving after surgery, there are no specific rules to follow. For this again, you are advised to consult with your surgeon and follow his/her guidelines.










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