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Vaginal Cuff Tear After Hysterectomy | Now What?

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

Vaginal Cuff TearMy vaginal cuff has torn. What can I expect now?

Vaginal cuff dehiscence, or opening, is a rare, but serious complication that can occur following a complete hysterectomy. When your vaginal cuff tears, for whatever reason, it can be a frightening and traumatic event.

The vaginal cuff is created when the vaginal incision is closed after the complete uterus is removed. Until that area heals completely, the incision could open or tear. When the vaginal cuff tears, you can experience abdominal pain, pelvic pain, pressure, vaginal bleeding, and/or a watery discharge which requires immediate medical attention.

There are a number of factors that can affect how a torn vaginal cuff is repaired. Your surgeon will need to assess your situation and determine what is best for you. When making that decision, your physician will consider the following:
  • Your current health
  • His skill and experience repairing a vaginal cuff
  • The extensiveness of the tear
  • Whether there is organ protrusion through the tear
  • If there are other repairs or procedures needed
  • What method(s) will give you the strongest repair

A torn vaginal cuff can be repaired in a number of ways, including vaginally, laparoscopically, a combination of vaginally and laparoscopically, or abdominally. Your surgeon may be able to put in a stitch or two right in the office, or you may need to undergo anesthesia and a surgical procedure at a surgery center or hospital. In some cases, the torn vaginal cuff may even be left alone to heal. Following the repair, you could spend one or two nights in the hospital, depending on the extensiveness of the surgery, if you require IV antibiotics to treat or prevent infection, and how invasive your surgery was.

How badly your vaginal cuff has torn and how it is repaired will affect your recovery. Your surgeon may put you on bed rest for a few days or weeks, or you may be given restrictions similar to those following your hysterectomy. Lifting, straining, exercising, and sexual intercourse will be restricted for several weeks until you have healed, and you will be off work while you recover. Your surgeon may prescribe oral antibiotics to prevent infection, vaginal estrogen to strengthen the vaginal tissues, and/or prescription pain medications.

While recovering from your vaginal cuff repair, you may experience some slight bleeding and spotting. If you see bright red blood that fills a pad and hour, you need to call your doctor immediately. Other reasons to call your doctor include a fever, intense or increasing pain, liquid discharge, and any symptoms that concern you.

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.

04-02-2014 - 01:32 AM


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