What to expect after gynaecological surgery

If you have recently undergone a gynaecological surgery, there are certain things to watch out for to aid your smooth recovery. Here are some things to note:

What to Expect

  • Healing normally takes 2 to 6 weeks (depends on the surgery performed; laparoscopy usually faster than open)
  • Mild vaginal bleeding may last for 1 to 3 weeks; change your pad regularly
  • Wound/lower abdominal/pelvic discomfort; take your pain medications as prescribed for the first week
  • Feeling tired, especially for the first few days to a week after discharge
  • Some changes in urinary habits (e.g. frequency, urgency, tingling etc) and bowel movements

Wound care

  • Wounds are closed by stitches and covered by skin glue or dressings (these are waterproof, so showers are allowed)
  • Most stitches are dissolvable. Some will need to be cut at your follow-up visit, together with removal of wound dressings
  • If wound dressings accidentally get wet, you may remove them
  • After showers, pat dry wounds gently with a clean towel
  • Wear your abdominal binder when sitting up/standing/walking (for open surgeries)


Continue your usual medications for your medical conditions e.g. diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol unless otherwise instructed by your doctor
Take your discharge medications as prescribed; you may reduce your pain medications after the 1st week as you improve over time
Complete your antibiotic course (if any)


Eat a healthy balanced diet that is high in fibre (brown bread/rice, fruits and vegetables) and protein (chicken, fish, eggs). Drink to thirst but avoid alcohol. Cut down on fried, oily, sugary foods in the recovery period. Be cautious of certain traditional herbs (e.g. dang gui) that can increase bleeding. If you become constipated, do take stool softeners to avoid straining in the toilet (e.g. lactulose).


Do not stay in bed all day – you should walk around the house normally. After 1 to 2 weeks, gradually increase the walking distance. You may start gentle exercises if you feel up to it.

What to avoid for the first 6-8 weeks (or advised by your doctor)

  • NO strenuous exercises such as running, aerobics, contact sports
  • NO swimming
  • NO sexual intercourse
  • NO heavy lifting (including shopping bags, laundry baskets, carrying children)
  • NO abdominal massages

Contact your doctor/return to the Emergency Department if you experience:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding (clots, or heavier than your usual periods)
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge or urine
  • Increasing abdominal pain that is not relieved by your pain medications
  • Abdominal bloating, vomiting
  • Difficulty or inability to pass motion/ gas or urine
  • High fever >38 degrees
  • Redness or pus coming from your wounds
Speak to our Obstetrics and Gynaecology Specialists Today!