Hysterectomy for Endometrial Cancer
Most women do not have complications after a hysterectomy. But complications that may occur include:
- Fever. A slight fever is common after any surgery.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Reference Urinary incontinence Opens New Window.
- Continued Reference heavy bleeding Opens New Window. Some vaginal bleeding within 4 to 6 weeks following a hysterectomy is expected. But call your doctor if bleeding continues to be heavy.
- The formation of scar tissue (Reference adhesions Opens New Window).
Rare complications include:
- Blood clots in the legs (Reference thrombophlebitis Opens New Window) or lungs (Reference pulmonary embolus Opens New Window).
- Injury to other organs, such as the bladder or bowel.
- A collection of blood at the surgical site (hematoma).
You may have other physical problems after a hysterectomy. In some women, the pelvic muscles and ligaments that support the vagina, bladder, and rectum may become weak. The weakness may cause bladder or bowel problems, such as Reference cystocele Opens New Window, urinary incontinence, or Reference rectocele Opens New Window. Reference Kegel exercises may help strengthen the pelvic muscles and ligaments. But some women need other treatments, including additional surgery.
Vaginal dryness may develop if your ovaries were removed during your hysterectomy. If sexual intercourse is painful because of vaginal dryness, use a vaginal lubricant, such as K-Y Jelly or Astroglide, or a polyunsaturated vegetable oil that does not contain preservatives. Do not use petroleum jelly (for example, Vaseline) as a lubricant, because it increases the risk of vaginal irritation and infection.
Your doctor will tell you how long you should wait after surgery before engaging in sexual intercourse. Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) may occur if your vagina was shortened during your hysterectomy. Changing positions may help make intercourse less painful. If you continue to have difficulty with intercourse after a hysterectomy, talk with your doctor.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: November 29, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Ross Berkowitz, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology