How to treat swelling after a hysterectomy

Written by katie duzan
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A hysterectomy is an operation performed by a doctor to remove the female uterus. There are several types of hysterectomies. An abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) involves removing the uterus through a classic cut across the belly. During a laparoscopic hysterectomy, the doctor makes small incisions on the stomach and removes the uterus through them. In a laparoscopic-assisted vaginal (LAVH) hysterectomy, the doctor cuts the uterus into small pieces via small incisions on the stomach and removes it vaginally. The doctor cuts the uterus out and removes it vaginally without any external cuts in a vaginal hysterectomy (TVH). Read on to discover how to treat swelling after a hysterectomy.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Cold pack
  • NSAID's
  • Compression band

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use compression. Compression bands that go across the stomach help reduce swelling. These bands reduce discomfort caused by everything shifting after the surgery, too, so they serve a dual purpose.

  2. 2

    Rest up. Swelling after hysterectomy usually indicates overdoing it. Lie down, rest and let the body recuperate. Don't push too hard too fast, because that results in injury.

  3. 3

    Try ice. Cold reduces inflammation, therefore reducing swelling. Lay in bed with a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in towels over the swollen area. Don't let the stomach get numb from the cold, and take breaks from the cold packs to avoid getting too cold.

  4. 4

    Use anti-inflammatory medication. The doctor probably prescribed these before checking you out of the hospital. If not, call and ask for a prescription for some. If nothing else, verify it's OK to take over the counter NSAID's (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. These medications reduce the inflammation and swelling, and are available at any store.

  5. 5

    Note the type of hysterectomy. Hysterectomies can sometimes include the removal of one or both ovaries, the cervix or the Fallopian tubes. During a hysterectomy doctors may perform procedures to the bladder or rectum. If it was more than just the uterus removed, swelling may be coming from one of the other removals.

  6. 6

    Call the doctor. Any swelling that seems abnormal or causes concern warrants a call or visit to the doctor. It's the doctor's job to make sure that recovery goes well, so don't worry about seeming worrisome. It's always better to be safe than sorry. If nothing else, the doctor can help ease concerns.

Tips and warnings

  • Swelling accompanied by severe pain, bleeding or abnormal discharge is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately.

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