Recovering post-surgery

After your hospital stay, it will take you about six to twelve weeks to recover at home.  

This is because you will need time for your abdominal muscles and tissues to heal. 

Your recovery time will depend on the type of surgery and whether or not postoperative problems develop.  Before you return home you should receive a visit from a physiotherapist who will give you a programme of gentle exercises as part of your recovery programme.

During your recovery period you should:

  • Avoid lifting things as you will have many stitches that need time to repair
  • Avoid housework or lifting anything – even as light as a kettle or iron – for six weeks
  • Ask for practical help from family and friends if you need it.  Your loved ones may find it useful to organise a rota to ensure you can rest and get the help and support you need.  Practical help may also be available from your local authority.  Ask your GP or specialist cancer nurse who to contact.  It is sensible to organise these things prior to your surgery. 
  • Avoid driving for six to eight weeks after the operation.  It is worth checking your car insurance policy before you drive as some insurers will not insure drivers for a number of weeks after surgery.

Bear in mind that you might need at least eight weeks off work after surgery.  You may then need some time off work when you start chemotherapy so do have a discussion with your employer about this as soon as you can.

For more information about treating ovarian cancer you can download our leaflet.