Post-Surgery Instructions

*If you are experiencing the symptoms below:

PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE at 540-720-7340 if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, or dial 911 if you are having a medical emergency.

  1. Fever over 100.5°
  2. Severe lower abdominal pain
  3. Heavy or prolonged vaginal bleeding
  4. Redness or swelling of an incision
  5. Severe chest pains
  6. Frequency or burning with urination
  7. Fainting
  8. Swelling or redness of the legs
  9. Any other concerns

Post-Operative Instructions

Indwelling Urinary Catheter Approximately 30 percent of patients experience temporary difficulty emptying their bladder after pelvic surgery. Swelling and discomfort can inhibit your ability to relax, the first step to a normal void. If you are unable to sufficiently empty your bladder, you may be discharged from the hospital with a temporary indwelling catheter. The temporary catheter will be secured to a leg bag that collects urine. Be sure the catheter collection bag is below the level of your bladder for proper drainage. If you have any questions on the care of your catheter, feel free to call our office. Within several days, you will be seen in the office to assess your ability to void and to have the catheter removed.

Items For Home Care

Have the following over-the-counter medications and items ready for use at home:

  • NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve)
  • Extra Strength Tylenol
  • Stool Softener (Colace or Generic)
  • Milk of Magnesia
  • Fleet disposable enema
  • Epsom Salt
  • Commode sitz bath (Please ask the nurse at the hospital to supply)

Post-Operative Medications

Resume your pre-operative medications unless instructed otherwise.

Pain Management

  • Every effort is made to minimize your discomfort; however, pain after surgery is common, normal and to be expected.
  • Take ibuprofen (three tablets every six hours) with food for relief of mild to moderate pain, swelling and soreness.
  • For additional pain relief, you may take Extra Strength Tylenol (two capsules every four hours). These pain medications work differently and can be used safely together.
  • These medications will help to alleviate discomfort in your legs and/or buttocks due to positioning for vaginal surgery

Bowel Movements

Take Colace, or the generic equivalent, (one tablet in the morning and one in the evening) for stool softening. You may increase to two tablets twice a day. Depending on your surgery, Colace should be used two to 12 weeks or as directed by your doctor. In addition to stool softening, it may be helpful to use a gentle bowel stimulant or laxative if you fail to have a bowel movement for two days (milk of magnesia, one to two tablespoons every six to eight hours as needed). ***If you are still unable to have a bowel movement after the third post-operative day, please call the office.***

Vaginal Incision

  • You will have a vaginal incision. If you are able to safely get in and out of the tub, a sitz bath (two cups of Epsom salt in six inches of warm tub water) for 20 minutes each day for two weeks will make you more comfortable. A commode sitz bath may also be used (two tablespoons of Epsom salt to warm water in commode sitz bath).
  • You may apply ice packs to the perineum (outside the vagina) for up to 20 minutes as often as needed.
  • If you notice a rough, sticky area in the groin or buttock area, do not attempt to remove it. This is surgical glue (used instead of stitches), and it will loosen and fall off on its own.
  • If you notice stitches in the groin or buttock area, do not attempt to remove these. They are dissolvable sutures and will disintegrate on their own.
  • You may not vaginal bleeding or spotting for several weeks post-operatively. Please call if the bleeding becomes heavier than a period.
  • You may notice a yellow vaginal discharge, which may have a mild odor, for up to six weeks while the vaginal sutures dissolve.

Follow Up Visits

  • A nurse will call to check on your progress two to three days after your surgery. At that time, you will schedule a post-op appointment two weeks from your date of surgery. Our doctors will recommend subsequent post-op visits as necessary, usually six weeks post-op and four months post-op. If you had general anesthesia, you may feel tired the first two weeks. Keep moving, and you will recover more quickly.
  • If you feel feverish, take your temperature. If your temperature is greater than 100.5 degrees, please call the office.
  • Place nothing in your vagina for six weeks (no tampons, douche, intercourse, vaginal estrogen, etc.). Some surgeries require up to 12 weeks, ask your doctor.
  • You may take stairs, touching each step with both feet (as a toddler does), for the first few days, and then as tolerated.
  • For the first two weeks, do not lift anything heavier than a full gallon of milk(8 pounds). For the next two months, avoid heavy lifting (20 to 30 pounds). Some surgeries may require up to 12 weeks, ask your doctor. When lifting or bending to pick up things, bend at your knees, not your back. Protect your back as well as your surgery.
  • Do not drive until you are free of discomfort from your surgery. If you can walk up and down the stairs and get in and out of a chair without discomfort, you may drive.
  • Walking is a good, safe exercise. Please speak to the doctor about resuming your usual exercise regimen. Patients who undergo only the TVT procedure may be able to resume exercise in as little as two weeks. Remember to drink plenty of water when you exercise.
  • No tub baths, hot tubs/spas for two weeks. You may cool off in private swimming pools after your physician examines you in approximately two weeks (NO diving).

How to Reach Us

Women’s Health and Surgery Center 125 Hospital Center Blvd. Ste. 221 Stafford, Va. 22554

P: (540)720-7340 F: (540)720-7341 Billing: (540)368-9472 ext. 135 Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00   EMERGENCIES: After business hours, you can call the office and connect with the answering service for our on call provider to return your call