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After Abdominal Hysterectomy for Uterine Prolapse

Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus drops (prolapses) into the vagina. In severe cases, the uterus can stick out from the vagina. The goal of surgery is to correct this problem. It can help relieve your symptoms. You had a procedure called abdominal hysterectomy. A surgeon removed your uterus through an incision in your abdomen. It usually takes about 3 to 8 weeks to recover from abdominal hysterectomy. Recovery time varies for everyone. Here's what you can do to speed your recovery.


  • Ask your friends and family to help with chores and errands while you recover.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 6 weeks to avoid straining your incisions.

  • Don’t do strenuous activities, including exercise, housework, or yardwork, until your healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Climb stairs slowly. Pause after every few steps.

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

  • Don’t drive until your healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Ask your healthcare provider when you can expect to return to work.

  • Walk as often as you feel able.

  • Don't put anything in your vagina until your healthcare provider says it's OK to do so. This includes tampons, douches, and sexual activity.

Other home care

  • Prevent constipation.

    • Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day, unless directed otherwise.

    • Use a laxative or a mild stool softener if your healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Wash your incision with mild soap and water. Pat it dry. Don’t use oils, powders, or lotions on your incision.

  • Shower as usual.

  • Don’t have sex or use tampons or douches until your healthcare provider says it’s safe to do so.

  • Report hot flashes, mood swings, and irritability to your healthcare provider. There may be medicines that can help you.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment, or as directed.

When to call your healthcare provider

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

  • Fever of 100.4°F ( 38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Chills

  • Bright red vaginal bleeding or foul-smelling discharge

  • Vaginal bleeding that soaks more than 1 sanitary pad per hour

  • Trouble urinating or a burning sensation when you urinate

  • Severe abdominal pain or bloating

  • Redness, swelling, or drainage at your incision site

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Pain, redness, or swelling in your legs

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Heather M Trevino BSN RNC
Online Medical Reviewer: Howard Goodman MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
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