Hysterectomy is a specific surgical procedure that partially or totally removes the uterus. Women could have different reasons for hysterectomy including uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, abnormal vaginal bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, adenomyosis and cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovaries.
After hysterectomy it will take at least 3 to 6 weeks to feel better and during this period women could experience vaginal discharge – in most cases brown vaginal discharge but sometimes vaginal discharge could be pink or red. Brown vaginal discharge is a fairly common symptom that women can experience immediately after a hysterectomy.
Brown vaginal discharge after hysterectomy will last several weeks after surgery and it may have some specific vaginal odor. The amount will vary depending on patient activities but is often more noticeable two weeks after surgery.
Main causes for smelly brown discharge after hysterectomy include bacteria and/or virus and/or other vaginal infections such as yeast infection and Chlamydia. These infections could originate from the vagina. Since after hysterectomy the immune system is weakened due to the surgery, these microorganisms could take over.
As after hysterectomy women would not have more periods, brown discharge could be disturbing. Women should expect brown vaginal discharge for several weeks after surgery. Sometimes vaginal discharge can be pink and may have a slight odor. The amount will vary depending on women activities but is often more noticeable two weeks after surgery when you begin passing some of the absorbable stitches. If you are flowing like a period or you begin passing clots the size of your thumb or larger, notify your doctor.
After hysterectomy women could experience brown vaginal discharge combined with bloating, pain on the abdominal area, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and weakness.
Sometimes brown vaginal discharge after hysterectomy could be a symptom of HPV (human papilloma virus) or UTI (urinary tract infection).
Getting a hysterectomy will not be cause of the infection, but can be the reason it has produced symptoms because it has compromised the patient’s immune system which was weakened by operation.
Anyway, normal discharge after hysterectomy is usually brown, but it will most likely change to a white color soon. Internal stitches may accompany this discharge as the surgical wounds heal. This is normal cleansing of the area that was involved in the procedure, and should not be cause for alarm. However, if the discharge is red and bloody, you should contact your doctor.
Brown discharge after hysterectomy indicates blood that has dried, and red discharge would indicate fresh bleeding. This should be examined by your doctor to make sure that you do not have an infection or damaged tissue.
Brown discharge causes after hysterectomy
Improperly tied blood vessel or a slip in the ligature after hysterectomy. Loosen suture from the operation may cause light pink discharge after hysterectomy. Granulation tissue that is sloughing can also cause colored discharge after hysterectomy including brown discharge.
Another cause for discharge after hysterectomy is the re-opening of the wound after the surgical procedure, which is also called wound dehiscence.
Bleeding disorders or coagulation can also cause reddish and/or brown discharge after hysterectomy due to clotting defects.
Allergic reaction to suture
Vaginal injury during or after hysterectomy
After operation douches, tampons, or sexual activity can also cause this type of discharge.
Recommendations for women after hysterectomy
Complete recovery from the operation takes about 2 months.
Do not put anything into your vagina for the first 8 - 12 weeks after hysterectomy including tampons and douching.
Do not use feminine deodorant sprays.
You can have shower without any problems.
Avoid swimming or using a hot tub during 8 weeks after hysterectomy.
Do not start having sexual intercourse for at least 8-10 weeks.
Do not lift heavy objects for 6-8 weeks after the operation.