How Long Will It Take Kate Middleton to Recover?

By: Carol Kingston | Published: Feb 09, 2024

Princess Catherine was released from the hospital last week after a lengthy stay following her secretive abdominal surgery.

Health experts and surgeons have since said the Princess of Wales could spend the next six to nine months in recovery as a result of her procedure.

Kate Middleton Undergoes Surgery

Last month, Kensington Palace released a statement confirming Catherine, Princess of Wales, underwent a surgical procedure (via People).

A photo illustration of a newspaper headline centered on Kate Middleton's operation

Source: Ming Yeung/Getty Images

While the reasoning behind the princess’ abdominal procedure remains unclear, reports say it’s not related to a serious illness such as cancer.

Princess’ Long Recovery Causes Worries

After news broke that the Princess of Wales’ surgery was a success and she’s “doing well,” her extensive recovery time has left many worried.

Prince William and his wife, Princess Kate, pictured together during a tour to New Zealand

Source: Pool/Getty Images

Catherine spent nearly two weeks in the hospital, and now experts say she may spend many months recovering at home.

Kate Middleton Finally Released from Hospital

After being released from the hospital at the end of January, citizens remain concerned for the princess’ health.

A doctor dressed in a white coat stands outside of a busy hospital

Source: Freepik

While Prince William and his wife remain silent on the situation, health experts have estimated that the Princess of Wales may spend up to nine months recovering.

Renowned Surgeon Gives His Take on Kate’s Condition

In an interview with Hello! Magazine, revered colorectal surgeon Shashank Gurjar, who specializes in keyhole cancer surgery, gave his take on her condition.

Two doctors speak with each other in an office as they stare at a computer monitor

Source: Freepik

According to the surgeon, “[Princess Catherine] should be wary that if it’s a big midline operation, she should give it a good six weeks to let the wounds fully heal. With large wounds, we stitch the abdomen together, and the stitch is designed to last for six to nine months.”

Surgeon Explains the Importance of Stitches

Shashank went on to elaborate on the importance of the stitches.

Surgeon carefully applies stitches to a patient's open wound

Source: Freepik

“So these are the internal stitches that hold the abdominal wall. The stitches that you see that the patient will see on top, they’re dissolvable stitches. So we usually use a dissolvable stitch to close the skin along with a skin glue,” he said.


Inner Abdominal Muscle May Take Six Months to Heal

According to Shashank, while the skin heals relatively quickly after surgery, the inner abdominal muscle may take several months to recover fully.

A woman dressed in a green-spotted shirt recovers from a procedure in hospital

Source: Freepik

“The skin itself heals within 48 hours, but the knitting together of the abdominal muscle, which is the sheath of the muscle, that has a stronger stitch which may last a good six months,” he said.


Middleton’s Main Focus Going Forward

When speaking of the princess’ recovery at home, Shashank mentioned three things any patient who’s recently undergone abdominal surgery should consider.

A visibly unhappy woman rests in her bed under a grey blanket

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“I think the important thing is firstly to recognize that you’ve gone through something significant. This is a life event. You cannot think you’re going to bounce back tomorrow. You’ve got to give it time,” said Shashank.


Focus Moving a Little Each Day

The surgeon then said that Princess Catherine should try to move a little each day as lying in bed every day can halt recovery time.

A woman dressed in an orange shirt performs yoga in her home

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“You’re not going to get better by sitting or lying in a bed all day every day for the next two weeks. That doesn’t help either. So you need the insight, you need the nutrition, and you need the recognition that you have to start mobilizing and build up slowly but surely,” said Shashank.


A Good Diet Can Speed the Recovery Process

The surgeon argued a good diet full of vitamins and minerals is essential during the recovery process.

Photo illustration of a well-balanced diet including numerous fruits, nuts, and veg.

Source: Freepik

“You must ensure that your nutrition is adequate because wounds need to heal. So you need a good mix of multivitamins, microelements, and all the stuff that you need in a good diet. Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, everything. So a good sensible diet,” he said.


Speculation Fuels Wild Rumors Online

Spanish media brought forth a state of panic when journalist Concha Calleja said that complications arose during surgery, forcing doctors to place the Princess of Wales in a coma.

A woman dressed in a white suit jacket writes notes in her small book

Source: Freepik

“The decision was to put her in an induced coma. They had to intubate her. There were serious complications that they didn’t expect because the operation went well, but the postoperative period didn’t go so well,” she said, according to People.


Palace Spokesperson Refutes the Outlandish Claims

Various other news sites picked up Calleja’s story and ran with it, forcing a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace to release a statement refuting the rumors.

A news reporter pictured holding a mic on the street of a large city

Source: Freepik

“It’s total nonsense,” a palace source told The Times. “No attempt was made by that journalist to fact-check anything that she said with anyone in the household. It’s fundamentally, totally made-up, and I’ll use polite English here: it’s absolutely not the case.”