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Hysterectomy - vaginal - discharge

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.

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Hysterectomy

When You're in the Hospital

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.

What to Expect at Home

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 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.

Self-care

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:

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if:

Related Information

Cervical cancer
Endometrial cancer
Uterine fibroids
Endometriosis
Hysterectomy
Hysterectomy - abdominal - discharge
Hysterectomy - laparoscopic - discharge

References

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.

Jones HW. Gynecologic surgery. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 70.

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/.

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Review Date: 3/31/2020  

Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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