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Vaginal Cuff Tear after Hysterectomy

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

Vaginal Cuff Tear after hysterectomyHow often does the vaginal cuff tear during recovery? What can I do to prevent it from occurring?

The tearing of the vaginal cuff, also known as vaginal cuff dehiscence, is a rare but serious complication that can occur following a complete hysterectomy. There are several risk factors for vaginal cuff dehiscence, from surgical approach to health issues such as diabetes.

Rates of vaginal cuff dehiscence occurrence range from less than 1% to 4%, depending on a wide range of variables. Currently, data seems to indicate that there is more risk of vaginal cuff dehiscence following a total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH) or robotic assisted hysterectomy. These types of hysterectomy use electrocautery, different suturing methods, and/or magnification that may lead to a smaller area of tissue being used for the incision.

Besides surgical variables, other risk factors include repeat vaginal surgeries, vaginal atrophy, and poor wound healing. Poor wound healing could be the result of health issues such as diabetes, doing too much too soon, or returning to intercourse before the vaginal cuff has fully healed. A vaginal cuff infection or hematoma could also increase the risk for vaginal cuff dehiscence.

SYMPTOMS OF VAGINAL CUFF TEAR

Signs of vaginal cuff dehiscence include abdominal pain, pelvic pain, pressure, vaginal bleeding, and/or a watery discharge. Typically, medical treatment is needed immediately as a tear in the vaginal cuff can allow the bowels to move through the opening, creating a life-threatening situation. How the tear is repaired will depend on your specific situation and surgeon. The tear can be repaired vaginally, abdominally, laparoscopically, or using a combination of techniques.

PREVENTION

The best way to prevent vaginal cuff dehiscence is to follow your doctor's instructions after your hysterectomy. In addition, avoid activities such as lifting, straining, intercourse, and bathing until you are released by your physician. You should also share with your surgeon any health issues you may have which prevent healing in a timely manner.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

12-05-2013 - 11:18 PM


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