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Hysterectomy - laparoscopic - discharge

Alternate Names

Supracervical hysterectomy - discharge; Removal of the uterus - discharge; Laparoscopic hysterectomy - discharge ; Total laparoscopic hysterectomy - discharge; TLH - discharge; Laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy - discharge

When You Were in the Hospital

While you were in the hospital, you had a hysterectomy, surgery to remove your uterus. The surgeon made 3 - 4 small cuts in your belly. A laparoscope (a thin tube with a small camera on it) and other surgical instruments were inserted through the cuts.

Part or all of your uterus was removed. Your fallopian tubes or ovaries may have also been taken out.

You probably spent 1 - 3 days in the hospital.

What to Expect at Home

It usually takes 2 - 6 weeks to recover fully. You will probably get tired easily during this time. You may not feel like eating much.

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.

Activity

Start walking after surgery. Begin your everyday activities as soon as you feel up to it. But, do not jog, do sit-ups, or play other sports until you have checked with your doctor.

Move around the house, shower, and use the stairs at home during the first week. If it hurts when you do something, stop doing that activity.

Ask your doctor about driving. You may be able to drive after 2 or 3 days if you are not taking narcotic pain drugs.

You may lift 10 pounds (about the weight of a gallon of milk) or less. Do not do any heavy lifting or straining for the first 3 weeks. You may be able to go back to a desk job within a couple of weeks. But, you will still get tired very easily at this time.

Do not put anything into your vagina for the first 8 - 12 weeks. This includes douching and using tampons.

Do not start sexual activity for at least 8 - 12 weeks, and only after your doctor says it is okay. With some types of laparoscopic hysterectomy, it is very important to wait the full 12 weeks before having intercourse.

Wound Care

If sutures (stitches), staples, or glue were used to close your skin, you may remove your wound dressings (bandages) and take a shower the day after surgery.

If tape strips (Steri-Strips) were used to close your skin, cover the wounds with plastic wrap before showering for the first week. Do not try to wash the Steri-Strips off. They should fall off on their own in about a week. If they are still in place after 10 days, remove them, unless your doctor tells you not to.

Do not soak in a bathtub or hot tub, or go swimming, until your doctor tells you it is okay.

Self-care

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.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if:

  • You have a fever above 100.5 °F.
  • Your surgical wound is bleeding, is red and warm to touch, or has thick, yellow, or green drainage.
  • Your pain medicine is not helping your pain.
  • It is hard to breathe.
  • You have a cough that does not go away.
  • You cannot drink or eat.
  • You have nausea or vomiting.
  • You are unable to pass any gas or have a bowel movement.
  • You have pain or burning when you urinate, or you are unable to urinate.
  • You have a discharge from your vagina that has a bad odor.
  • You have bleeding from your vagina that is heavier than light spotting.
  • You have a heavy, watery discharge from the vagina.
  • You have swelling or redness in one of your legs.

References

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.

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (Canada). Supracervical hysterectomy. SOGC CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINE No 238, January 2010.


Review Date: 2/28/2011
Reviewed 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.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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