WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- A vaginal hysterectomy (VH) is surgery to remove your uterus (womb). The uterus is the reproductive organ in a woman's body where a baby grows during pregnancy. Your reproductive organs work together to help you conceive, grow, and give birth to a baby. Your cervix is the narrow part of your uterus that is next to your vagina. In a vaginal hysterectomy, your uterus is removed through your vagina. Your caregiver may remove your entire uterus or leave your cervix. Other organs or tissues may be removed depending on the type of surgery you are having. After a vaginal hysterectomy, you will not be able to have a baby.
- You may need a vaginal hysterectomy if you have fibroid tumors (growths) in your uterus or other reproductive organs. You may need a VH if you have an infection in your uterus caused by germs called bacteria. A VH may treat severe (very bad) pain, which may be caused by a disease called endometriosis. A vaginal hysterectomy can be used to treat some causes of vaginal bleeding, or to treat uterine cancer. If your uterus has slipped down into your vagina, you may need this surgery. After having a vaginal hysterectomy, your pain and bleeding may decrease.
Take your medicine as directed:
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
- Blood thinners: Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots from forming. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise. If you are taking a blood thinner:
- Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth on your skin and a soft toothbrush on your teeth. This can keep your skin and gums from bleeding. If you shave, use an electric shaver. Do not play contact sports, such as football.
- Be aware of what medicines you take. Many medicines cannot be used when taking medicine to thin your blood. Tell your dentist and other caregivers that you take blood-thinning medicine. Wear or carry medical alert information that says you are taking this medicine.
- Take this medicine exactly as your caregiver tells you. Tell your caregiver right away if you forget to take the medicine, or if you take too much. You may need to have regular blood tests while on this medicine. Your caregiver uses these tests to decide how much medicine is right for you.
- Talk to your caregiver about your diet. This medicine works best when you eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and other foods, such as cooked peas and kiwifruit.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
- You may need to have blood collected for tests. You may need a chest x-ray, an ultrasound, or a computed tomography (CT) scan. Ask your caregiver for more information about the tests and treatments that you need to have.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever (high body temperature).
- It is hard or hurts to urinate.
- You feel pain during sex.
- You feel pain or fullness in your vagina.
- You feel like something is sticking out of your vagina.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery, medicine, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have bleeding that does not stop.
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
- You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
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