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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 protrude from the vagina. The goal of surgery is to correct this problem and 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, but recovery time varies from woman to woman. 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 push a vacuum or do other strenuous housework until your healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Climb stairs slowly and pause after every few steps.

  • Continue with 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 ( 38.0 °C) or higher, or as advised by your provider

  • Chills

  • Bright red vaginal bleeding or foul smelling discharge

  • Vaginal bleeding that soaks more than one 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

© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.