Bowel pain after hysterectomy?

I had a total hysterectomy March 31 for adenocarcinoma in situ. Since then I have had horrible bowel pains from gas and anytime I have a bowel movement it is excrutiating. My ob thinks it may still be from swelling since they also did an abdominal wash when they were in there. I know this is kind of a gross topic but I was wondering if anyone else had this problem. I also have painful urination but by ob said this is common to have a raw place on the bladder where it was in contact with the uterus. It is just the bowel stuff that is unknown. He wants me to wait it out for a couple more weeks and see if it gets better but I have to be 100% when I go back to work and dont want to wait too long to check this out. Any help from anyone would be much appreciated.

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dear kb1200 :

I am sorry to hear about your bowl pain and i hope it would go away soon. A friend of mine had a total hysterectomy and had the same problems which took about 2 weeks to go away. However, she did have some bladder infection.

Did you have a vaginal hysterectomy? the reason i asked is because i have carcinoma in-situ and had a cone biopsy 5 weeks ago but the margins were not clear. i have to go back for a colposcopy necxt month and if they find out that there are still some dysplasia left, then i have to have a total hysterectomy.

I hope you be well soon and all of those pain go away.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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My hysterectomy was abdominal. My ob said that they needed to make sure to get good margins around the cervix and that was the best way to do it. It has been 2 weeks today for my surgery and I am still waiting for the bowel pain to ease. Hopefully it will soon?

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have your doctor given you any kind of medication to ease that pain? Did he do a Robotic hysterectomy or the old fashion way? which ever way, i hope that the pain goes away so you don't have to deal with it any more. I will say a prayer for you.

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Just the old fashioned way. He offered to give me darvocet but i would rather not have to take anything. I am still nursing my last baby.

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hi, kb. i'm sorry to hear that you've had to have a hysterectomy and i hope the surgery was successful in removing the dysplasia and that no further treatment is needed.

i had an abdominal hysterectomy too and also experienced quite a bit of bowel and gas troubles. yeah, it's not exactly dinner conversation - so it's nice to have a place like this to discuss it! i took gas-x for a couple of weeks after the surgery, along with colace which i continued to take. if you're on any narcotic type pain meds, those contribute to constipation, so you'll want to try to minimize their usage. you may want to try walking to get things 'moving' better, and reducing the bowel troubles, and drink lots and lots of water (or herbal tea). i don't remember exactly how long it took for things to get back to normal, but i think the worst pains were for 2 weeks, and then a significant difference by 4 weeks. that's when you'll really start to feel better from all the abdominal pain as well.

might you have a urinary tract infection causing the painful urination? if you've got burning along with a frequent feeling like you need to urinate, you may have an infection which would need antibiotics. to relieve some of that pain, you can take an over the counter medication called pyridium which turns your urine orange, and seems to work for some women, but not all the time. i'm not sure if it's ok to take when you're be sure to check that out! and call the doctor if you think it might be a UTI.

i hope you continue to feel better and better.....

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Oh, kb, I hate that you're having these troubles! And with a nursing baby at the same time!

My abdominal hysterectomy was in October 2006. I don't quite remember having a LOT of bowel issues, although I know I took Gas-X. Did you have chemo/ radiation before surgery? Radiation does some crazy stuff to your innards.

As for my bladder, they thought it was a UTI (urinary tract infection), and did put me on Pyridium Plus... looked like I was peeing flourescent orange Gatorade - very strange. But it didn't do me any good... apparently it wasn't a UTI. I went to a urologist for several months, and she finally determined I had scar tissue in my bladder, from radiation or surgery, and that hopefully it would soften over time.

I no longer have pain when I pee - it used to be more and more painful as my bladder emptied. I do, however, have leak issues, but I've learned to deal with it. I was using Poise pads, but quit them cold turkey to kind of make myself deal with the leaks... I didn't know if maybe really using certain muscles again would make a difference.

I'm not familiar with an abdominal wash, so I can't help you there.

Hopefully things will really ease up for you in the next couple of weeks. I actually wasn't cleared to return to work until 10 weeks after surgery. But then again, I was still recuperating from the chemo and radiation as well.

Take care, Gerri

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I didn't have chemo or radiation and they tell me I won't have to. And I didn't take the pain pills they sent home from the hospital with me because they made me sick. I did take stool softeners for a few days but when it was really soft I stopped that. Its not that I have a difficult time going, just hurts. Doesn't seem to matter what it is like just having my bowels move is painful.

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hi, kb. you wouldn't need to have chemo or radiation for dysplasia, including 'in situ', so hopefully the surgery successfully removed all the dysplasia and you're 'done'! :) as for the continued bowel pain, hopefully that will ease up soon. they've touched and moved about everything in your abdominal area around the uterus, so maybe that's the cause of the ongoing pain. if i doesn't start to feel better, then i would suggest you give the doctor a the 3 and 4 week mark, you should notice marked improvement. sending gentle hugs your way....

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Thanks for the support. It's been a pretty stressful month. I work in a very physically demanding trade and really need to be back to normal when I go back to work. I just dont want to let it go on too long and then need to have some procedure done that will make it so I cant go back to work when I plan to. Hate to be off work at all but , of course, it was necessary. On the other hand, it is nice to have this time with my toddler. Seems life is so busy you miss precious time with little ones.

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hi kb1200,
i know exactly how excrutiating having a bowel movement and urinating was/is. i had my rad.hyst. 05/31/06, followed by 42 radiation treatments [6 internal], so my experience was a little different. i don't exactly ''remember'' the 'exact' feeling of a bm, but i do remember how i didn't want to have one and when i did the pain was just incredible i don't remember how long the bm pains lasted, but i still have the pain when i urinate [right where my c-section scar is-bikini cut]. certianly not as bad, but some times i use my natural childbirth breathing to get through the last 30 seconds. i got no answers and get no answers. my doc also keeps sending my urine out saying it's an infection. from the days after surgery until now? i don't think so. i'm thinking, as some have said, it's scar tissue. hopefully your pain during your bm and urination will end soon, don't forget i did have the radiation treatments. just keep hugging your baby and know that it will pass, eventually. it's amazing what we can endure and get through! have a good day! jacke

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I had a total hysterectomy for adenocarcinoma in situ in January. I remember at my 6 week post surgery appointment I asked my doctor about pain when urinating. I also felt like I could not empty my bladder and it somewhat burned. They sent me in for a urine test and it came back negative for a UTI. My doctor also said to give it another month for things to heal and see how it felt, if it wasnt better to call the office. I am now almost 3 months later and everything seems back to normal. On occasion I will have a tiny bit of leakage but nothing too bad.

I did have some gas issues and took a stool softner for about the first 3-4 weeks but that seemed to go away sooner than the bladder issues.

I feel physically really good now.
Take Care!

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Try checking out the American Pain Foundation at:

This is an excellent resource. Also, Yettee (see below) servs on the NCIs DCLG and can be helpful with pain info.

Best regards,


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Thanks for all the info. Its so great to have people to go to who have been through the same thing. My dr is great but he can only relate what he's been told so its not quite the same.

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I had a radical hysterectomy on 21 Feb 08. Although after some problems the main pain in the site (had vertical incision and technically difficult op) that seems to be much better. Howevever , I am now finding I am getting lots of pain in my upper bowel area. Around my navel (where I do have a hernia!!!) and also higher up, I went to a friends birthday lunch today, and after 2 hours had the pain back and came home and slept for 2 hours. I am going to make an appt with my gp or gynae ( I have a final appt with my gynae on May 8, but am due to go overseas on 26 May). I am really worried I either need surgery for my hernia, or there are other problems, although a couple of weeks ago my gp explained a lot of the pain is from the healing. Apparently during the op they took my bowel out of the cavity and laid it on me, so they could dissect my uterus, cervice and etc....I am so worried I won't be able to go on my trip, and also can't work out why the pain. Which is worse as the day wears on. I am usually ok when I first wake up...My pain seems different to what the other people here are talking about and it has almost been 9 weeks!!! I am at a loss and so fed up.

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I hope you get to go on your trip with no problems. 9 weeks does seem like a long time to still be having that much trouble but I had a horizontal incision so I don't know which is easier. I am 4 weeks post op and my bowel and bladder pain is finally easing up. It is still there some, but not lamaze breathing bad anymore. Please let us know what your dr says and about your trip. Good luck

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I had a total hysterectomy 12 days ago. The worst part is the bowel pain and the gas. I have days when i have little pain and days when it is bad. Good to hear that this seems to be the way it is for 3 to 4 weeks.

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I also have had a total Hysterectomy and am experiencing the same thing with my bowels.
I find it very hard to get rid of the gas that is in my lower stomach and I also find it hard to have a bowell movement. After a bowel movement it hurts and feels hollow especially wherw I think the overies were.
Thank you for the information.

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Hi All-
I'm so glad I found you. It's hard sometimes when you're just plugging in words in your search engine. Anyway, I, too had a total hysterectomy just over 2 weeks ago. My pain is both urinating and voiding bowels. It hurts worse with the bowel and worse the more I empty each. The pain seems deep inside and doesn't coincide with pushing or necessarily gas (although I'd had plenty of that trapped but it causes sporadic cramping when I'm NOT going to the bathroom). I don't necessarily feel the urge to pee more but when I do there is a lot of urine although it is very yellow which suggests dehydration....). Anyway, I, too was looking for a cause of the pain since it sounds like UTI in some ways but not others. Based on all your helpful advice, I'm guessing I should give it a couple more weeks. So I have one other question for everyone- I have a very hard painful "line" under the outer edges of my hysterectomy scar. The Dr. said I feel it because I'm thin (gawd bless him) but still it is the greatest "external" pain I have which prevents turning/twisting, sleeping on my side, and is contributing to my walking somewhat hunched over. Anyone else experience this and know what it is? Also, when do your abdominal muscles start to work again? The sudden sagging flap of skin hanging over my scar is really depressing me!!!!!!!!!


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hello i also have problem with my vowel and problem also with my urine. Try to eat prunes this will help you with your vowel movement and drink cranberry juice for urine problem

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Yes give it a little more time. Mine was just like you said. Was not a UTI and was not gas. My ob said it was just my abdomen getting used to not having uterus there. I also had, and still have, the inner scar. It is a little above the outer suture line. It still feels thicker and still gives me a quick sharp pain if I move just a certain way and its been almost 6 months. My ob said that it will take up to a year for all the healing. That scar tissue is still thick and not very flexible. He said that it would get more pliable with time and would not pull and cause pain. Good luck with your recovery!!

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