A hysterectomy is an invasive but sometimes necessary surgery that removes a woman’s uterus. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that the surgery results in many changes, such as the fact that a woman can no longer have periods or get pregnant. It can take up to six weeks or more for a woman to recover from a hysterectomy. In the meantime, she may experience bloating or puffiness resulting from the surgery as well as the loss of her abdominal muscular strength. Many women desire to flatten their stomachs after a hysterectomy, in order to regain the healthy, slim look that they had before the surgery, or even before their previous pregnancies. Flattening your stomach after a hysterectomy requires willpower, hard work and dedication.
Avoid eating gas-producing foods like baked beans, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts while you are recovering. In the recovery period up to six weeks after the surgery, you may experience bloating and gas related to the surgery and the changes your body is experiencing. This will cause your mid-section to appear puffier. To achieve a flatter-looking stomach as you recover, Johns Hopkins medicine recommends avoiding foods that may cause gas and also carbonated beverages like soda for one to two days after the procedure, which can also cause bloating.
Add high-fiber foods into your diet slowly. Drugs.com explains that if you add high-fiber foods like whole wheat bread, raw vegetables, oatmeal and nuts into your diet too quickly, you can experience digestive problems like gas. If you gradually add in high-fiber foods to your diet, your body will adapt to the fiber, and begin digesting foods as efficiently as possible so that your stomach looks flat and not bloated. The University of Colorado Extension recommends that adult females eat about 25 g of dietary fiber each day.
Exercise your core muscles every day, once your doctor says it is safe for you to exercise. Core-strengthening exercises will help to flatten your stomach and make you look leaner. Sit-ups and kegal exercises will help to flatten your stomach. You can even strengthen your stomach by pulling in the muscles tightly and flexing your core, while you are at work or sitting in traffic.
Wear a belly wrap to help tighten the muscles around your stomach and get your mid-section back to pre-hysterectomy shape. Fitness Rx Magazine explains that many women use compression wraps to reduce swelling around the mid-section after having a baby, though it can be equally effective after a surgery like a hysterectomy. The compression wrap draws blood flow to the area, reminds you to tighten your muscles and helps speed recovery, according to Fitness Rx. Talk to your doctor before using a belly wrap.