My hysterectomy and post-op Infection – Shirley’s Story

I had a vaginal hysterectomy in June 2012, removing ovaries and uterus. Admitted as a day patient (operation completed between 10.30am-2.00pm) and feeling sickly following removal of drain (to extract excess internal bleeding) I was given anti-sickness medicine (through IV). This made me hallucinate and generally feel groggy. Admitted overnight I was discharged late morning of the following day.

For the next week I had a mild discharge, watery red in colour. The second week I began to have a redder fresh blood discharge which smelled very offensive. Arranging an appointment to see my GP (for support, HRT and information on discharge), the bleeding increased an clots started to appear, nothing too big, about the size of the letter ‘O’ on a computer keyboard. I was admitted to a gynae ward after attending A & E at same hospital, examined and told it was possibly an infection although my blood pressure, temperature and general well being was normal. Started on very strong antibiotics, discharged early morning. That day I passed three large clots.

At home, the next morning, when rising to go to the toilet, I went back to bed, then after approx 30 minutes dozing I woke to feel very wet. I had bled all over the bed through my clothes and on making my way to the toilet, blood was dripping out of me with several clots. I went straight to A & E and was admitted, examined and scanned, with nothing abnormal showing, all pointing again towards an infection. The gynae doctor who examined me said, when the uterus is removed, the top of the vagina is closed and begins to heal, naturally forming a blood clot which is a breeding ground for infection. Clotting shows healing and is a good sign however the body eventually knows this needs to be removed and tries to break this down naturally, promoting excessive bleeding and the clots coming away.

With lying stationary overnight the blood had pooled, releasing when rising to get up and go the the toilet, etc. I was again admitted for observation to make sure there were no lesions promoting additional bleeding however my loss is beginning to subside so I am continuing the antibiotics, at home, with instructions to go straight back to hospital should the bleeding again increase. Apart from this, the post op pain has subsided after nearly three weeks and I still feel well in myself.

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28 comments

  1. I am having all of the same symptoms and my doctor examined me and told me i had an infection…. day three of antibiotics and I don’t feel any better. Can you tell me what happened to you please.

  2. I had a full hysterectomy including removal of ovaries abdominally. I had an infection end of week two fixed with antibiotics. Week six went for doctors clearance, when examined I had a bleed and infection, readmitted straight away and operated on that afternoon. It is now week twelve my stomach around my belly button and each side is pins and needles and a little bit painful. I now also have diarrhea. Could I have another infection?

  3. Had a vaginal prolapse and partial hystorectomy started to bleed after 12 days. I went to my g.p. And was given seven days antibiotics. I was having griping stomach pain loss of appetite I put this down to a daily laxative. The bleeding did not stop and was red. After 6 days went back to the g.p. And was admitted to hospital my local one not where I had opp. They took bloods which showed infection I was put on an intreveous drip with 2 different antibiotics the examination showed nothing and temperature and blood pressure fine. After 2 days I had an ultrasound which showed a blood clot the size of a satsuma. I was discharged after 3 days and told to take a further 10 days of antibiotics and told my body shoul absorbe the clot. If I feel unwell or start to bleed heavily again to go to a and e. I feel they sent me home too quick with no aftercare it’s shocking and very frightening.

  4. I got a full hysterectomy on almost 2 weeks ago. Most of the time I’m feeling surprisingly ok but I can not sit still and so 2 times now I feel like I have the flu (low fever, achy body, very tired, a little nausea) I’m not sure if I should be worried or not. I’m not in pain really just all over sore and not bleeding. I’m also very constipated which is the most miserable part of it all right now!!! Any advice would be appreciated!!! Thank you!

  5. I had a vaginal hysterectomy and pelvic floor repair on 13 August. I prepared as much as I could beforehand and was very fit and had stocked the larder in readiness. All went well, I stayed just one night in hospital and have been taking it easy at home since. Already walking lots, but keep it very local and lots laps of the garden as I never know when I am going to be overwhelmed by tiredness and need a sit down. Infection hit me after one week and a scan revealed that I have a 3″ blood pool in my abdomen. Apparently bacteria like to live in these. I am now on strong antibiotics and my surgeon says the clot should be reabsorbed by my body. No timescale, so I just have to wear bigger trousers for longer. Good luck Shelly but watch out for flu like symptoms.

  6. I had a partial hysterectomy on June 24. No I have blood pooling in my stomach the size of a grapefruit. Dr says just takes time. It has been 7 and some weeks.

  7. Ive had a vaginal hysterectomy a week ago today coughed and passed a big blood clot is this normal

  8. Hi I had a vaginal hysterectomy last week 28/01/14. Came home on 30/01/14 feeling remarkably well, except for constipation. With having no outward scarring it is easy to forget I have had surgery done, so have to keep reminding myself and rest as much as possible, not easy when the loo is upstairs hahaha, anyway on Sunday 2/02/14 I was feeling very sickly and eventually vomited so took to my bed to lie down for a while only to wake up about an hour after absolutely shivering despite wearing warm pjs and having fleece bedding , for approx an hour I could not stop my whole body shaking, I was alone in the house at the time so couldn’t call anyone for assistance, I just had to keep telling myself to keep calm as I fear I was probably making myself more anxious as it was a scary experience, eventually I must have cried myself to sleep again and woke up feeling ok, then later on that evening sat watching tv out of nowhere I just burst out in a cold sweat, my hair, my body, face etc all covered in beads of cold sweat, this lasted for about 10 mins. Now is this normal in the recovery process as I didn’t want to seem like I was being neurotic by calling anyone, but for future knowledge should it happen again.

  9. UTI infections can be quite common post op Kay, but are rarer when it comes to the internal wounds. I’m sorry to hear you are having such a hard time through recovery and hopefully the antibiotics will help very soon.

  10. I had a robotic assisted hysterectomy on April 16 and went home on the 17th. I was running a low grade temperature of 99 but no antibiotics were given to me. I have little to no pain–just a bit of soreness throughout this situation. I kept having 99-100.6 temperatures. I went to the ER on April 23 and they did a CT scan and blood work. I have infection internally and am now bleeding a most foul discharge. I am on antibiotics and was given two bags of antibiotic treatement at the hospital. I have never experienced anything like this. I see the doctor tomorrow for an ultrasound and check up.

  11. Hi, as I was browsing the web for related issue, I found this and thankful that I did. All the ladies here are awesome! Shona and I have the same issue…only that 3 weeks ago I finally gave in to having hysterectomy done due to adenomyosis and because I had an enlarged uterus, I had abdominal procedure. I am on my 3rd wk post op and recovering smoothly. I had my first visit back to my Dr last Friday and because my incision was a little moist, she put me on antibiotics just to make sure. But other than that, everything went smoothy. Pain is part of the healing process, but day by day you will feel better and as long that you follow all the Dr’s instructions, you will be fine! 😉 My husband is very supportive and does everything for me and my 3 kids. Kinda liking this situation actually, haha! Getting really spoiled now. But so thankful and giving all my praise to God that I chose this decision to have it done now rather than wait till I menopause. I got tired of the bleeding and feeling of fatigue. My colors are starting to show and I’m starting to feel like my old normal self again! Just like you Shona, my Dr took my womb and cervix but left my ovaries so I can menopause as normal. No hormone therapy. Yay! And also, so glad my dr did abdominal, because now I dont have to deal with all the pain, infection and bleeding from my private part. Just my tummy. Besides the dr said abdominal is quicker as far as time in the OR. And easier for her to find other problems in my tummy. Still praying for a full speedy recovery. I hope this helps you ease some of your worries. It’s actually great feeling not to bleed anymore! If you are a positive thinker like me, it will all be good! For your own good! Lol! Glory be to God! 🙂

  12. I am so pleased I read your story. I had my hysterectomy on monday (today is Friday). Although i am feeling a little sore it has not been as bad as I expected. The worst of it for me was the constipation. However I am a doer and not a sitter. Infact my family was so concerned that i would not be able to leave things I been sent to stay with my mum for a few days but will be going home tomorrow to 3 teenage children and a molting dog but i will heed your wise words! Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Sandra

  13. I am 45 and went to my GP complaining of tiriedness and sleeping alot. After several tests I was told I was anaemic and then followed more tests to try and find out why. It was eventually discovered that my heavy periods which I thought were normal enough although they did increase when I turned 40 was most likely the reason. I was referred to a gynacologist and after several options were told to me we both decided that a vagina ablation or oblation (remove the lining of the womb) would sort out my condition.
    I had what I thought was this operation but the doctor came to see me when he had completed all surgery that day to tell me that he did not do the planned operation as my womb was rather large and this operation would not work but he had taken a sample of my womb and sent it off for analysis. Today I met with him to be told thank god that there was no cancer as he had originally thought but that my womb is unusually large and most likely the reason for such heavy periods. After discussing my options with him I have been told to think about it over the weekend and let him know on MOnday what I want to do. My doctors advice is just go on as normal until my menopause kicks in or have a total hysterectomy were he will remove my womb and cervix but leave my ovaries. I am so confused – for almost 1 week every month during my period I can do nothing and have to be near a bathroom to change regularly because of the heavy bleeding. He told me the down time after the op and obviously the risk associated with major surgery is the disadvantage. I can not have key hole surgery or vagina surgery as my womb is too large so I must have the abdominal surgery. Can anyone give me advice.

  14. I recently had a partial hysterectomy to correct a uterus prolapse.
    I has been so far an inrcredible experience. Out of the theatre by 1.30pm I was walking around the ward 2 hours later feeling absolutely wonderful (whatever there was in the anaesthetic I want more of it please) and apart from discomfort from the pack on the second day and subsequent constipation have felt wonderful ever since. Back home on the third day I was walking into town 2 days later and have been leading a completely normal life. The most difficult thing is to pace myself as I feel so well.

  15. It is so nice to see all of these comments from people who have similar experiences to myself. I am 1 week post op following a vaginal hysterectomy and repair where apart from my ovaries, they removed everything including my cervix. The op was done under general anesthetic and spinal and afterwards I suffered from horrendous headaches and sickness for a couple of days. A reaction to the general they thought and gave me pain relief and anti sickness medication thru my drip. I came home on the morning of day 3 and apart from feeling exhausted when doing the slightest bit of a thing have felt ok. Better than I expected to feel this early on really. It does lull you into a false sense of security and make you feel like you could take on board most general household chores. Im glad i have just read the comments above because so far I have only been doing very light house work – against my husbands advice I might add. But we have 4 children and he has been fantastic but he cant do everything so I have helped with some meals, folded washing, dressed my little girl, sat on the floor sorting the washing for the machine and just one or 2 other bits like that. In between time i have sat and watched tv and lay on the bed for a short doze or to watch a dvd. Am i resting enough???? Its hard to get the balance right and i dont wont to overdo it. Also I was wondering if anyone could tell me the symptoms for if you have an infection or not. Having one or two minor things that may indicate it but dont wanna waste the hospitals time if im wrong.
    It’s early days yet for me, but Im looking forward to the summer when im fully recovered and can lead a better quality of life than before 🙂 xxxx

  16. Hi everyone post op total hysterectomy 2weeks ago, this site as been brilliant, thought I would share with u my experience, op went well gynae doc sed bit messy inside ovaries stuck to my bowel with severe endometriosis, so had to ave everything removed, after waking up felt fine, week 1 felt groggy and tired week 2 thought I wud do a bit of cleaning as I felt brilliant, big mistake, they not tell u to rest for nothing, next morning stomach sore, and swelled and pain also extremely tired, and slight bleeding, so doctor told me to rest if got any worse to go to a and e, and that I’d undone 2weeks of healing, all because I felt a little better, so what I’m trying to say ladies is, rest, rest, rest, do nothing means just that

  17. Message for Caroline

    It is only natural to be apprehensive and scared when having surgery. I was 60 years old when I had my operation and no matter what anyone told me beforehand I was still very nervous. I was discharged the next day and pain was controlled with medication. Like Louise I was a bit frustrated when I noticed things needing done in the house but please rest as advised and your recovery will be fine. I would definitely go through the same surgery again as it has given me a new lease of life. Consultant told me it is a common operation nowadays and one in which they are very experienced.
    Good luck to everyone who is going through surgery.

  18. Hi Caroline,
    I too am having hysterectomy in September, be nice to keep in touch and let each other know how we’re doing. I’m 53, tad nervous but be glad to get it over with and on the road to recovery. Just read Carol Aspbury comment and it made me feel so much better, thinking positive is top of my list. Take care.

  19. Where are you based Simeon? Having a hysterectomy in the UK requires you to go through your GP who refers you to a hospital who then add you to a gynaecologist’s clinic – the system will be different in other countries.

  20. Hi all..so happy to be in a forum where love and care is shared..but I need all your helps please, my mum has been having symptoms that required Hysterectomy which I cant go in details, the last time she had an heavy bleeding, she fainted and she is scared of going in for the surgery because of the stories she has heard..Please can you recommend a good surgeon/hospital I can take her to. I feel so sad seeing her in such a condition, when there is a cure.
    thanks for your reply

  21. Hi all,
    Caroline please dont worry, i was scared and had read a lot about hysterectomys when i was told i needed one. my advice would be to listen to your consultant and other medical professionals and do as they say, heres why
    I had a total hysterectomy (womb, ovaries, tubes and cervix) they took these out abdominally on 2 July 2012.
    The first week was awful i cant deny ( mainly due to having a general anaesthetic.) felt dopey and a little sick as well as quite sore- this apparently is all completely normal.
    The second week i felt really well. so well in fact i was beginning to think people had been over exagerating how bad it may be.
    On wednesday (a week and a half after op) i was getting very frustrated at the state of the house, although my husband was trying, he had a lot on his plate too.I didnt want him to be nagged and i felt too proud to ask for help elsewhere. I swept the floor and cleaned the toilet.
    On Thursday I can not tell you how bad I felt. my stomache had doubled in size, i had pain where there hadn’t been any before and to be honest I was a scared. On Friday my husband took me to the doctor. Apparently I had put my healing back by at least a week and pulled apart some of the initial healing inside. worriewd about infection.
    Dr gave me strict instructions to DO NOTHING apart from walk a bit around the house and garden. Dr told me clearly if swelling and pain not reduced by monday morning i would need to be re-admitted to hospital. if things got worse over the weekend go straight to A&E.
    we were very worried and my 5 year old became quite unsettled by the fact i appeared to be “more poorly”. all because i couldn’t stand looking at dog hair on the floor!
    I just thought I would let everyone know that you may feel great but as my Dr said “you have had major surgery”, don’t do things too quickly even if you feel able.
    luckily i have followed advice this time and swelling reduced greatly. the extra pain is receeding quickly. I am still sore but this is the natural healing.
    thought i would pass it on so that others could learn from my mistake.
    I can only add one thing more. this hysterectomy has meant i can lead a full and happier life (once healed!!) already i think its the best thing since sliced bread! keep your chin up Caroline, it sounds like you have a good consultant. dont be afraid to discuss your worries with them. I would have this op again tomorrow, yes i would still probably worry but the sun is definitely shining again!
    Louise

  22. Message to Caroline Scott.

    Hi Caroline, I had a total hysterectomy on 28th June (key hole and vaginal). I was a bit drowsy for the first few hours after coming round but felt better in a couple of hours. For the first time in years I have no pain. Because the op was non-invasive my recovery has been quick. On the first day home (which was the day after my op) all my visitors were amazed and couldn’t believe I’d even had an operation. I am 48 and I had severe endometriosis and fibroids. I have had no discharge, no blood, no infection and the incision points (of which there were four) have virtually healed. Being scared is perfectly natural but not everyone has a horror story to tell, in fact most women have very positive experiences. Good luck with your op. xx

  23. I hope you get well soon, I am to have a hysterectomy in september where they will take away, my womb, Ovaries and tubes, they are going to do this by key hole surgery, I must admit I am very scared. I am 55 and have pre-cancer that has advanced substantially I am told. My surgeon is very good and explains everything. Reading your experience worries me.

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