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Endometrial Cancer: Discharge Instructions for Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is surgery to have the uterus removed. If the fallopian tubes and ovaries are also removed, it is called bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with total hysterectomy. Lymph nodes in the pelvic and abdominal areas may also be removed. This sheet will help you take care of yourself at home after one of these procedures.

Activity

  • Ask for help with chores and errands while you recover.

  • Do not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 6 weeks.

  • Do not do housework for 2 weeks.

  • Limit stair climbing for the first 2 weeks. Climb stairs slowly and pause every few steps.

  • Walk as often as you are able.

  • Ask your doctor about when you can start driving (usually about 3 weeks after your surgery)

  • Do not drive if you are taking opioid pain medication.

  • Ask your doctor when you can return to work.

Other home care

  • Take only the medications that are prescribed by your doctor. Tell your doctor if you take other medications. These include herbs and other supplements.

  • Take pain medication as advised.

  • Do the coughing and breathing exercises that you learned in the hospital.

  • Avoid constipation:

    • Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.

    • Use a laxative or a stool softener as advised.

  • Wash your incision with mild soap and water. Pat it dry. Do not use oil, powder, or lotion on your incision.

  • Shower as usual. Do not take a bath until your doctor says it’s OK.

  • Do not use tampons or douches or have sex until your doctor says it’s OK.

  • Tell your doctor if you have hot flashes or mood swings. There are medications that can help you if needed. 

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your doctor.

When to seek medical care

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F  (38.0°C) or higher, or chills

  • Bright red vaginal bleeding or a foul smelling discharge

  • Vaginal bleeding that soaks more than one sanitary pad per hour

  • Trouble urinating or burning when you urinate

  • Severe pain or bloating in your belly

  • Redness, swelling, or drainage at your incision site

  • Persistent nausea and/or vomiting

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath

 

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