In the hospital
After the procedure, you will be taken to the recovery room. Your recovery will vary based on the type of procedure done and the type of anesthesia used. You will be taken to your hospital room once your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable and you are alert.
You may have abdominal cramping after the surgery. You may get pain medicine as needed. This will be done either by a nurse or by giving it to yourself through a device connected to your IV.
If you had an abdominal hysterectomy, you may have a thin, plastic tube put through your nose into your stomach. This is to remove air that you swallow. The tube will be removed when your bowels go back to normal. You will not be able to eat or drink until the tube is removed.
You may have small to moderate amounts of vaginal drainage for several days. The nurse will check the sanitary pads to keep an eye on the amount of drainage.
You will be urged to get out of bed within a few hours after a vaginal procedure. Or by the next day after an abdominal procedure. You will also be taught to do coughing and deep breathing exercises.
You may be given liquids to drink a few hours after surgery based on your situation. You will gradually be able to eat more solid foods as you can handle them.
Arrange for a follow-up visit with your healthcare provider, usually a few weeks after the procedure.
It's important to keep the incision clean and dry once you are home. Your healthcare provider will give you specific bathing instructions. If you went home with stitches or surgical staples, your provider will remove them during a follow-up office visit. If your provider used adhesive strips, keep them dry. They should fall off on their own within a few days.
The incision and the abdominal muscles may ache. This is especially true after long periods of standing. You may have shoulder pain from the gas used to inflate your belly if a laparoscope was used. Take a pain reliever as recommended by your healthcare provider. Aspirin or certain other pain medicines may increase the chance of bleeding. Be sure to take only recommended medicines.
You will be able to walk and have limited movement, but stay away from strenuous activity. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can go back to work and other normal activities.
Include fiber and plenty of liquids to prevent constipation. Your healthcare provider may recommend a mild laxative.
If you had a laparoscopic procedure, do not drink carbonated drinks for 1 to 2 days after the procedure. This will help reduce the discomfort from the gas. These drinks may also cause nausea.
Don't use a douche, tampons, have sex, or return to work until your healthcare provider says it’s OK.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of the following:
Fever or chills
Redness, swelling, or bleeding or other drainage from the incision site(s)
Increased pain around the incision site(s)
Abdominal pain, cramping, or swelling
Increased vaginal bleeding or other drainage
Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions after a hysterectomy based on your situation.