Discharge Instructions for Cancer of the Cervix

You have had a procedure or surgery to treat cancer of the cervix (also called cervical cancer). There are several different procedures for treating cervical cancer. Some are simple procedures while others are quite involved. Your recovery will vary depending on several factors. This includes the stage of the cancer, the procedure, your age, and your overall health. Be sure to follow any specific instructions given to you by your healthcare provider.

Make sure you:

  • Understand what you can and cannot do

  • Keep your follow-up appointments

  • Call your healthcare provider if you have any questions or are worried about any symptoms


You may have to limit some activities for a period after surgery. You may need extra rest throughout the day. But, try to get up and move around as you are able. Ask family members or friends to help with shopping, meals, housework, and other tasks. Talk with your nurses or other hospital staff about having an aid through a home health care agency, if needed. 

Make sure you know

  • When it is safe to use stairs. Go slowly and pause after every few steps. Have someone with you at first.

  • Whether or not you can lift heavy objects

  • When you can begin driving. Don't drive if you are taking pain or other medicine that makes you drowsy.

  • When you can do house or yard work or return to your job.

Other care

To help with your recovery and avoid complications: 

  • Take only those medicines prescribed by yourhealthcare provider. This includes over-the-counter medicines.

  • Take pain medicine exactly as directed.

  • Continue the coughing and deep-breathing exercises that you learned in the hospital.

  • Try toavoid constipation:

    • Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    • Drinkplenty of water and other healthy drinks.

    • Call your healthcare provider if you are having trouble with bowel movement. You may be prescribed a medicine.

  • Some procedures have cuts in the skin (incisions) and some do not. Talk with your healthcare provider or nurse about taking care of any incisions. They may recommend home health care.

  • Talk to your healthcare provider or nurse about managing any bandages you may have.

  • Know when you can shower or take a bath.

  • Avoid putting anything in your vagina. This includes tampons or douches.

  • Know when you can have sex again.



When to call your healthcare provider

Make sure you know how to reach your healthcare provider or his or her office staff anytime, even on weekends and holidays. Call right away if you have any of the following:

  • Fever above 100.4 °F (38°C) or chills

  • Increase in the amount of  or a change in vaginal discharge

  • Vaginal bleeding that soaks more than 1 pad per hour

  • Pain or burning when you urinate

  • Worsening belly (abdominal) pain

  • Pain that is not relieved by medicine

  • Redness, swelling,increased pain, or drainage around any incisions

  • Nausea or vomiting 

  • Leg pain, tenderness, or swelling

Call 911 or get emergency help if you have:

  • Chest pain, cough, and trouble breathing

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© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.