Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: Post-operative Instructions
Pain: Pain after a laparoscopic procedure tends to be most intense 24 hours after surgery. Discomfort is usually related to the gas used to distend the belly. The gas commonly causes shoulder pain. The general rule is pain should be progressively improving every hour and every day.
Wounds: The small wounds from laparoscopy require minimal care. Keep the steri-strips on as long as possible. If stitches were used to close the wounds, these will dissolve in the next few weeks; they do not require removal unless you find them to be bothersome.
Discharge: Most women will experience light bleeding or a pinkish vaginal discharge for several days to weeks postoperatively.
Self Care: Please refrain from using tampons, douching, or having sexual intercourse for at least 6 weeks after the procedure. Bathing and swimming should not be attempted before 4 weeks following surgery. Showering is fine at any point.
Activity: Avoid heavy lifting for 6 weeks after the surgery. Do not drive until you are no longer taking prescription medications and your pain is minimal. You are encouraged to remain mobile and physically active; walking is good. Climbing stairs is fine; adjust your pace if needed.
When to seek urgent medical attention: Report any of the following: pain that is progressively increasing, an abdomen that is becoming more distended, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, fever > 38.5°C, a swollen painful leg, or sudden shortness of breath.
Follow-up: See your surgeon 6 weeks after surgery for a checkup and pelvic examination.