Endometrial Cancer: Discharge Instructions for Hysterectomy
Hysterectomy is surgery to have the uterus removed. In some cases, the fallopian tubes and ovaries are also removed (called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with total hysterectomy). Lymph nodes in the pelvic and belly (abdominal) areas may also be removed (called a lymphadenectomy). This sheet will help you take care of yourself at home after one of these procedures.
Make sure you:
Understand what activities you can and can't do.
Keep your follow-up appointments.
Call your healthcare provider if you have any questions or are concerned about any problems or changes in how you feel.
You may have to limit some activities for a period of time 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 aide through a home healthcare agency, if needed.
Make sure you know:
When you can use stairs. Go slowly and pause after every few steps. Have someone with you at first. Try to plan your day so you do not need to go up and down repeatedly.
When you can do house or yard work or return to your job.
Whether or not you can lift heavy objects.
When you can begin driving. Don't drive if you are taking pain relievers or other medicine that causes drowsiness.
How much you should walk. Ask your healthcare provider what type of exercise might be good for you as you recover.
To help with your recovery and avoid complications, you should:
Take only the medicines that are prescribed by your healthcare provider. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking herbs, vitamins, and other supplements.
Take pain medicine as directed.
Do the coughing and breathing exercises that you learned in the hospital.
Try to not get constipated:
Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Drink plenty of water and other healthy drinks.
Call your healthcare provider if you are having trouble with bowel movements. You may be prescribed a medicine.
Talk with your healthcare provider or nurse about taking care of any incisions. Some procedures have cuts in the skin (incisions) and some do not.
Talk with your healthcare provider or nurse about managing any bandages you may have.
Know when you can shower or take a bath.
Don't put anything in your vagina. Don't use tampons or douches or have sex until your healthcare provider says it’s OK.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have hot flashes or mood swings. There are medicines that can help you if needed.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your healthcare provider. You may need more cancer treatment after surgery. Be sure you understand the plan and what you can do to be ready for treatment.
When to seek medical care
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 directed by your healthcare provider
Bright red vaginal bleeding or a bad-smelling discharge
Vaginal bleeding that is more than just spotting
Trouble urinating or burning when you urinate
Severe pain or bloating in your belly
Redness, swelling, drainage, or any other changes at your incision site
Lasting nausea or vomiting
Touble breathing or chest pain
Talk with your healthcare providers about what signs to look for and when to call them. Make sure you know what number to call with questions. Is there a different number for evenings and weekends?
February 14, 2018
Abdominal Hysterectomy, Up To Date, LIppincott Manual of Nursing Practice, 10th Ed. (2014), Practice Bulletin Clinical Management Guidelines for Obstetrician Gynecologists Endometrial Cancer, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Goodman, Howard, MD,Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS