Discharge Instructions for Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
You had a procedure called laparoscopic hysterectomy. A surgeon removed your uterus using instruments inserted through small incisions in your abdomen. These incisions may be tender or sore. You may also have pain in your upper back or shoulders. This is from the gas used to enlarge your abdomen to allow your doctor to see inside your pelvis and perform the procedure. This pain usually goes away in a day or two. It usually takes from 1 to 4 weeks to recover from laparoscopic hysterectomy. Remember, though, that recovery time varies from woman to woman. Here's what you can do to speed your recovery following surgery.
- Continue the coughing and deep breathing exercises that you learned in the hospital.
- Take your medications exactly as directed by your doctor.
- Avoid constipation.
- Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, unless told to do otherwise.
- Use a laxative or a mild stool softener if your doctor says it's OK.
- Shower as usual. Wash your incisions with mild soap and water. Pat dry.
- Don't use oils, powders, or lotions on your incisions.
- Don't put anything in your vagina until your doctor says it's safe to do so. Don't use tampons or douches. Don't have sex.
- If you had both ovaries removed, report hot flashes, mood swings, and irritability to your doctor. There may be medications that can help you.
- Ask your doctor when you can start driving again. It's usually okay to drive as soon as you are free of pain and able to move comfortably from side to side. Don't drive while you are still taking opioid pain medications.
- Ask others to help with chores and errands while you recover.
- Don't lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 6 weeks.
- Don't vacuum or do other strenuous activities until the doctor says it's OK.
- Walk as often as you feel able.
- Don't drive for a few days after the surgery. You may drive as soon as you are able to move comfortably from side to side and when you are no longer taking narcotics.
- Climb stairs slowly and pause after every few steps.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.
When to call your doctor
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:
- Fever above 100.4?F (38?C) or chills
- Bright red vaginal bleeding or vaginal bleeding that soaks more than one sanitary pad per hour
- A foul smelling discharge from the vagina
- Trouble urinating or burning when you urinate
- Severe pain or bloating in your abdomen
- Redness, swelling, or drainage at your incision sites
- Shortness of breath or chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting