While you were in the hospital, you had a vaginal hysterectomy. Your surgeon made a cut in your vagina. Your uterus was removed through this cut.
Your surgeon may have also used a laparoscope (a thin tube with a small camera on it) and other instruments that were inserted into your belly through several small incisions.
Part or all of your uterus was removed. Your fallopian tubes or ovaries may have also been removed. You probably spent 1 - 2 nights in the hospital.
It will take at least 3 to 6 weeks to feel better. You will probably get tired easily during this time. You may not feel like eating much.
You will not have any scars on your skin unless your doctor used a laparoscope and other instruments that were inserted through your belly. In that case, you will have 2 - 4 scars less than 1-inch long.
You will likely have light spotting for 2 - 4 weeks. It may be pink, red, or brownish. It should not have a bad odor.
If you had good sexual function before the surgery, you should continue to have good sexual function afterward. If you had problems with severe bleeding before your hysterectomy, sexual function often improves after surgery. If you have a decrease in your sexual function after your hysterectomy, talk with your health care provider about possible causes and treatments.
Slowly increase how much activity you do every day. Take short walks and increase how far you go gradually. Do not jog, do sit-ups, or other sports until you have checked with your doctor.
Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon jug of milk for a few weeks after surgery. Do not drive for the first 2 weeks.
Do not put anything into your vagina for the first 8 - 12 weeks. This includes douching or using tampons.
Do not start having sexual intercourse for at least 8 weeks, and only after your doctor says it is okay. If you had vaginal repairs along with your hysterectomy, you may need to wait 12 weeks for intercourse. Check with your doctor.
If your surgeon also used a laparoscope:
Try eating smaller meals than normal and have healthy snacks in between. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink 8 cups of water a day to keep from getting constipated
To manage your pain:
Call your doctor or nurse if:
Vaginal hysterectomy - discharge; Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy - discharge; LAVH - discharge
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Special procedures: Hysterectomy. March 2006. Accessed February 18, 2009.
Entman SS, Graves CR, Jarnagin BK, Rao GG. Gynecologic surgery. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 75.
Supracervical hysterectomy. SOGC CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINE No 238, January 2010. Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (Canada).
Updated by: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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