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What is vaginal packing? What is vaginal packing?

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  #1  
Unread 02-20-2008, 04:43 PM
What is vaginal packing?

Hi Hystersisters!

I keep seeing the words "vaginal packing" in some posts, for women who have had vaginal hysterectomies.

Is "vaginal packing" some sort of cotton like tampons to soak up any blood from surgery.... or.... is it like a medicated cotton or gauze to help with infection...or...is it some kind of cold packing to insert to help with swelling? I keep reading varying stories of what it is.

I had an abdominal hysterectomy on Feb. 8, 08. The doctor took my uterus and cervix, leaving my ovaries and tubes. She said she sewed the vaginal cuff from inside my abdominal incision. She did not enter the vaginal area with any kind of instrument or packing of any sort.

I have been a teacher for over 20 years and I know that the best way to learn is by asking questions. While at doctor visits, I have been known to be the "patient with the list of questions" and my family jokes with me that when my doctor sees me, he or she runs the other way because of all the questions!!!!!! I like to be thorough and if I don't ask, will the doctors be chasing me to tell me everything I need to know????? I don't think so. As the saying goes............."knowledge is power."

I hope someone will clarify the term "vaginal packing" for me!

Thanks in advance!

Peace, Irish Bridie
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  #2  
Unread 02-20-2008, 04:51 PM
What is vaginal packing?

A vaginal pack is used after a vaginal hysterectomy to absorb discharge. Mine was taken out at 5 the next morning so it was about 18 hours after the end of my surgery. The catheter came out at the same time. It appeared to be a strip of cloth about an inch to an inch and a half wide which was in the vaginal. The nurse looked like a magician pulling and pulling it out. It was probably only about a yard long or so if I remember correctly. It did not hurt to have it removed and it had very little blood on it. I am menopausal so I'm sure that some sisters might have had more blood on theirs than I did.

I hope this helps. I too was a teacher for 31 years--- happily retired for almost 9 now.

Downyocean but you can call me Kay
  #3  
Unread 02-20-2008, 04:59 PM
What is vaginal packing?

Hi Bridie,
Like Kay said, it is a long strip of gauze packed into the vaginal canal to absorb discharge, and it also puts pressure on any incisions made in the sides of the canal to access repairs on the rectum or bladder. In my case, I have a lovely slash in the anterior wall of the vaginal canal for a rectocele, so when they pulled out the packing, it felt like they were pulling a 50 yard band-aid off a scab.

Not to scare anyone, but I really wish I had been prepared for that one! Mine was in for nearly 24 hours and felt like I had a large bath towel stuffed up there. Although it hurt to have it removed, it was a huge relief once it was gone because it was quite uncomfortable.
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  #4  
Unread 02-20-2008, 05:08 PM
What is vaginal packing?

Oh, Wendy, I'm so sorry that it hurt. Maybe mine did not since it was not in there long enough to dry and attach to the repairs. I had extensive repairs too but mine just felt like a little tugging. I was curious and asked to see it.

I also had the nicest night time nurse who gently removed the catheter and the vaginal packing. She was a real gem. I had a male nurse who came on duty about a half hour after the night nurse removed both things. I would have "died" to have him do those two procedures. Yes, I know that makes me a sexist and I'm sorry but that is a very private area--- and he was cute enough to be a movie star and young enough to be my son. Okay, so I'm a dirty minded old lady who is also a sexist. LOL.

Kay
  #5  
Unread 02-20-2008, 06:11 PM
What is vaginal packing?

Hi "downyocean" and "snowy_owl!"

Thank you very much for answering my question. I appreciate it.

I too, am uncomfortable with male nurses. I asked pre-surgery if there would be a male nurse in the operating room or on the floor where I would be staying for post-op. I wouldn't have liked a male nurse to insert my catheter after surgery. The staff at the hospital for post-op patients where I was only hires female nurses. They said they do not want women to be uncomfortable after surgery. They really respect the privacy of women and their health and recovery. I'm all for that!

Thanks again for your replies. Take care. Have a good day!

Sincerely, Irish Bridie
  #6  
Unread 02-20-2008, 07:18 PM
What is vaginal packing?

Hi Kay,
Having a woman remove it may have made the difference. My surgeon pulled it out and was probably in a hurry
I had a guy for one of my nurses the day after surgery, but he didn't do anything personal for me and was very sweet. I worked military medicine long enough not to have male health care workers bother me My surgeon was a man too What is funny is, it drives my husband crazy to even contemplate me having a pap by a male doctor.
  #7  
Unread 02-20-2008, 07:39 PM
What is vaginal packing?

I had a TVH and had no packing of any kind post-op
  #8  
Unread 02-20-2008, 08:04 PM
What is vaginal packing?

Maybe the packing is only used when there are a lot of A&P repairs like Wendy and I had. I never thought of that. Anyone else with just a TVH without repairs have vaginal packing? Inquiring minds want to know.

Kay
  #9  
Unread 02-20-2008, 08:10 PM
What is vaginal packing?

I had TVH and did not have any packing. I had not heard of it and when I started reading the different post I got concerned that they forgot to take it out. I did ask at my 2 week check up and the doctor confirmed that I did not have any packing...whoosh, I was a little worried.
  #10  
Unread 02-20-2008, 10:47 PM
What is vaginal packing?

I did not have any packing that I'm aware of.
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