Gynaecology Surgery: A Recovery Guide

gynaecology surgery dr kent kuswanto

Gynaecology Surgery: A Recovery Guide

Gynaecology surgery is surgery on the female reproductive system and can be categorised according to the surgical approach; open surgery or minimally invasive surgery. There can be variety of different reasons for gynaecological surgery and different factors determine what approach is utilised.


Minimally Invasive Gynaecology Surgery Recovery Guide

Minimally invasive gynaecology surgery – such as laparoscopy or hysteroscopy – may be recommended to you by the gynaecologist as an investigation and/or treatment. Symptoms that may lead to such investigations include heavy periods, abnormal or irregular bleeding, pelvic pain and difficulty conceiving. Examples of conditions that may be treated through minimally invasive gynaecology surgery include endometrial polyps, ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis and adenomyosis.

Since minimally invasive gynaecology surgery is performed via small 5-10mm incisions on your abdomen (laparoscopy) or by passing a thin telescope through your cervix without an abdominal cut (hysteroscopy), the recovery period is typically shorter and less painful than traditional open surgery.



Recovery is relatively faster with minimally invasive gynecological surgery, however, this does not mean you can resume your normal activity immediately after surgery ends. Depending on how extensive your minimally invasive gynaecology surgery was, you may be discharged from the hospital on the same day – such as a hysteroscopy or laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis or ovarian cyst. You can expect 1- 2 nights stay in the hospital after more extensive surgery such as a laparoscopic hysterectomy.

As all minimally invasive gynaecology surgery is performed under general anaesthetic, once you wake up you will find yourself with a drip in your arm to ensure you stay hydrated. After major surgery such as a hysterectomy, a bladder catheter may be left in to keep your bladder empty for the first night. This is usually removed the next morning and your bladder will be scanned to make sure you are emptying your bladder normally. The wounds from your gynaecology surgery will already be closed with sutures and dressed up. In most cases, the sutures are self-dissolving and do not need removal.

On the first day after your gynaecology surgery, you will normally be able to get out of bed and mobilise yourself – to go to the toilet or shower, you will also be assisted by nursing staff if required. Abdominal surgery itself in addition to certain peri-operative medications may slow your bowels down so you may be given stool softeners or laxatives to help you open your bowels.

Once your observations are stable, your pain is manageable by oral medications, your bladder is working as usual, and you’re walking, eating, and drinking well – you will be deemed ready to go home.

For most cases of laparoscopic surgery, discharge will happen on the same day or the day after your procedure. Most patients having hysteroscopic surgery can expect a same day discharge.

You are not allowed to drive yourself home at discharge, so please remember to arrange for someone to drive you. You will also need to have an adult with you for the first night after a general anaesthetic.


Post-Discharge and Follow-Up

Your gynaecologist will arrange a follow-up appointment after surgery. In this post-discharge follow-up, your gynaecologist will check how your recovery is progressing.

Upon your discharge, your doctor will give you prescription for pain medication as well as instructions on how to care for your post-surgery wound. In most cases, the dressings for your post-surgery wound will stay on for seven days but check with your team if this applies for you. In the meantime, you can shower as usual – with the water proof wound dressings on – and pat them dry afterwards.


Post-Surgery Discomfort

It is normal to experience discomfort at your wound sites, your pelvic area, under your ribs, and at your shoulder tips for some days after your surgery. This discomfort is mild and will get better as time passes. However, if you feel the pain worsen or it does not improve after a few days, reach out to your doctor or the hospital you had the procedure in.

Mild post-surgery discomfort can normally be controlled with simple painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory medications such as Celebrex or Voltaren.

Please note that if you experience chills, sweats, fever, increasing pain, offensive or copious vaginal discharge, you need to contact your doctor or hospital immediately.


Post-Surgery Activities to Avoid

You are not advised to drive until you feel you can comfortably make an emergency stop with your car’s brake system, this can take 1 to 2 weeks after your surgery. You may also want to check with your insurance company regarding their regulations on driving post-surgery.

During your recovery period, you are not advised to make important decisions or operate heavy machinery.

When you are feeling well and any vaginal bleeding has stopped, you can resume your usual physical and sexual activity. Depending on your procedure and how your body recovers after your surgery, you may not be able to resume your regular physical and sexual activity until 6 weeks post-surgery. Your gynaecologist will confirm this with you following your surgery.