Discharge Instructions for Abdominal Hysterectomy

You had a procedure called abdominal hysterectomy, a surgery to remove your uterus. This can relieve such problems as severe pain and bleeding. It usually takes from 4 to 6 weeks to recover from abdominal hysterectomy. Remember, though, that recovery time varies from woman to woman.


When to call your doctor

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

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38°C) 

  • Chills

  • Bright red vaginal bleeding or vaginal bleeding that

    soaks more than 1 pad per hour

  • A smelly discharge from the vagina

  • Trouble urinating or burning when you urinate

  • Severe pain or bloating in your abdomen

  • Redness, swelling, or drainage at your incision site

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain

  • Nausea and vomiting


Home care

These are suggestions for what to do once you are home:

  • Don’t drive until your doctor says it's OK. Don’t drive while you are still taking opioid pain medicine.

  • Ask others to help with chores and errands while you recover.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 6 weeks.

  • Don’t vacuum or do other strenuous activities until the doctor says it’s OK.

  • Walk as often as you feel able.

  • When you must climb stairs, go slowly and pause after every few steps.

  • Continue the coughing and deep 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, unless directed otherwise.

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

  • Shower as usual. Wash your incision with mild soap and water. Don't scrub the incision to clean it. Pat it dry.

  • Don’t use oils, powders, or lotions on your incision.

  • Don’t put anything in your vagina until your doctor says it’s safe to do so. Don’t use tampons or douches. Don’t have sex. Don't do any of these things for 6 weeks.

  • If you had both ovaries removed, report hot flashes, mood swings, and irritability to your doctor. There may be medicines that can help you.


  • Ask your doctor when you can return to work.