Vaginal hysterectomy - discharge; Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy - discharge; LAVH - discharge
You were in the hospital to have a vaginal hysterectomy. This article tells you what to expect and how to care for yourself when you return home after the procedure.
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 may go home on the same day as surgery, or you may spend 1 to 2 nights in the hospital.
It will take at least 3 to 6 weeks to feel better. You will have the most discomfort during the first 2 weeks. Most women will need to use pain medicine regularly and limit their activities during the first 2 weeks. After this period, you may feel tired but will not have much pain. 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 to 4 scars less than 1-inch (3 cm) long.
You will likely have light spotting for 2 to 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 severe bleeding before your hysterectomy that also negatively affected sexual function, your sexual function will often improve 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 provider.
Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon (3.8 L) 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 to 12 weeks. This includes douching or using tampons.
Do not start having sexual intercourse for at least 8 weeks, and only after your provider says it is OK. If you had vaginal repairs along with your hysterectomy, you may need to wait 12 weeks for intercourse. Check with your provider.
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 (2 L) of water a day to keep from getting constipated.
To manage your pain:
Call your provider if:
Gambone JC. Gynecologic procedures: imaging studies and surgery. In: Hacker NF, Gambone JC, Hobel CJ, eds. Hacker & Moore's Essentials of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 31.
Prescott LS, Yunker AC, Alvarez R, Jones HW. Gynecologic surgery. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 71.
Thurston J, Murji A, Scattolon S, et al. No. 377 – Hysterectomy for benign gynaecologic indications. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada (JOCG). 2019;41(4):543-557. PMID: 30879487 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30879487/.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 4/19/2022
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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