Advanced Gynaecological Surgery Centre
Patient Info

What to expect after Prolapse Surgery

Hospital Stay

Length of stay

  • With a vaginal or laparoscopic prolapse repair surgery you will usually go home within 2-4 days of surgery.

Post operative pain        

  • Within a day of your vaginal or laparoscopic operation, most patients require only oral pain medications and are usually up and walking around.

Urinary Catheter  

  • A soft latex tube (catheter) may be required to drain the bladder for 24-36 hours to allow it to rest after surgery.
  • After incontinence surgery a small number of women may have ongoing difficulty emptying their bladder and thus require a catheter for a longer period of time.
  • In these cases you can go home with a urinary drainage bag and return a week or 2 later to have the catheter removed.
  • Alternatively you may be taught to insert a small catheter to empty your bladder on a regular basis until your bladder function returns to normal.

Vaginal bleeding   

  • A small amount of vaginal bleeding is common after vaginal surgery and it may persist for up to 6 weeks.  It can sometimes be associated with an unusual odour
  • Have some ultrathin sanitary pads on hand – do not use tampons

For the first two weeks following discharge from hospital

  • Restrict your activity – no washing, ironing, vacuuming, changing bed linen etc
  • Rest as much as possible – have an afternoon lie down for 1 – 2 hours
  • Very short, frequent walks around the house
  • Do not lift anything heavier than 2-3kgs
  • You may have a sudden, moderate vaginal loss around eight to ten days, which should then stop
  • Please tell your doctor about any vaginal discharge that is offensive, becomes heavier than a period, or is associated with a fever and feeling unwell

For the next two to four weeks (weeks 4-6 of your recovery)

  • It is important that you do not do any heavy work or lift more than 4-5kgs including shopping bags, washing baskets and children!
  • Frequent short walks increasing over time is beneficial (i.e. 5-10 minutes building to 20-30 minutes)
  • Avoid playing sport, gym work and impact exercises such as jogging and jumping
  • You may notice some stitch fragments on your pad – this is normal
  • You may return to non-strenuous employment within 4-6 weeks of surgery

General Advice

  • As a general rule, if it hurts do not do it!
  • Take regular pain relief until discomfort/pain has resolved – codeine based pain relief can cause constipation so best to be avoided
  • Intercourse should not be resumed until eight weeks after surgery (assuming all bleeding and discharge has settled) or following your post operative appointment
  • It is advisable not to drive a car until completely comfortable and feeling well.  This may be anywhere between 2-6 weeks.  Do not plan a long trip even as a passenger for at least a couple of weeks after your discharge from hospital
  • Gentle swimming is fine once all vaginal discharge has settled
  • Prevent constipation – Avoid straining when opening your bowels.  If this is a problem increase your fibre and fluid intake (have at least 1-1½ litres of water per day)

    Coloxyl tablets (1-2 tablets once or twice a day) may also be useful

  • Pelvic floor exercises  may be commenced when they can be done comfortably.  Remember tocontract  your pelvic floor muscles with any exertion (i.e coughing, sneezing, laughing etc)

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