Hysterectomy for Ovarian 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 or not being able to control your urine (Reference urinary incontinence Opens New Window).
- Continued Reference heavy vaginal bleeding Opens New Window. Some vaginal bleeding for 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).
Other complications may include:
- Blood clots in the legs (Reference deep vein thrombosis 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 develop 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 some women need other treatments, including additional surgery.
Vaginal dryness may develop from the removal of your ovaries and the loss of the hormones (Reference estrogen Opens New Window and Reference progesterone Opens New Window) that the ovaries make. 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. If you are using condoms, use a water-based lubricant, rather than an oil-based lubricant. Oil can weaken the condom so that it breaks. Avoid petroleum jelly (for example, Vaseline) as a lubricant, because it increases the risk of vaginal irritation and infection.
- Use a low-dose Reference vaginal estrogen cream, ring, or tablet, which will reverse vaginal dryness and irritation by affecting only the vaginal area. If you are having other menopausal symptoms, talk to your doctor about systemic Reference estrogen therapy (ET) and other treatment options. For more treatment information, see the topic Reference Menopause and Perimenopause.
- Opens New Window Hysterectomy and Oophorectomy: Should I Use Estrogen Therapy (ET)? Opens New Window
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: July 6, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Ross Berkowitz, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology