What is abdominal myomectomy?

Jump To

Abdominal myomectomy: Overview

A myomectomy takes out fibroids from the uterus. Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of the uterine wall or muscle. They are not cancer.

The surgery is done through a cut the doctor makes in your lower belly. The cut is also called an incision. In many cases, the doctor makes the cut just above the pubic hairline. In other cases, the cut runs from the belly button to the pubic hairline. Both cuts leave a scar. It often fades with time.

You may stay in the hospital for 1 to 4 days. You can expect to feel better each day. But you may need about 4 to 6 weeks to recover.

This surgery should decrease the pain and heavy bleeding that are caused by fibroids. You will still have your uterus. Having this done should not affect your ability to have children. Sometimes it is done to help fertility. But there is a chance that surgery could harm the uterus. This can cause problems with a future pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about this before your surgery.

How can you care for yourself after an abdominal myomectomy?

Activity

  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
  • Try to walk each day. Start out by walking a little more than you did the day before. Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk. Walking boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation.
  • For 4 to 6 weeks, avoid lifting anything that would make you strain. This may include a child, heavy grocery bags and milk containers, a heavy briefcase or backpack, cat litter or dog food bags, or a vacuum cleaner.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as biking, jogging, weightlifting, and aerobic exercise, for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • You may shower. Pat the incision dry when you are done. Do not take a bath for the first week after surgery or until your doctor tells you it is okay.
  • Ask your doctor when you can drive again.
  • You will probably need to take 2 to 4 weeks off work. It depends on the type of work you do and how you feel.
  • Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex or use tampons. Do not douche.

Diet

  • You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you not to).
  • You may notice that your bowel movements are not regular right after your surgery. This is common. Try to avoid constipation and straining with bowel movements. You may want to take a fiber supplement every day. If you have not had a bowel movement after a couple of days, ask your doctor about taking a mild laxative.

Medicines

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. You will also get instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, take an over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines contain acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach:
    • Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor tells you not to).
    • Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.

Incision care

  • If you have strips of tape on the cut (incision) the doctor made, leave the tape on for a week or until it falls off.
  • Wash the area daily with warm, soapy water and pat it dry.
  • Keep the area clean and dry. You may cover it with a gauze bandage if it weeps or rubs against clothing. Change the bandage every day.

Other instructions

  • Talk to your doctor if you want to try to get pregnant soon. Your doctor can tell you when it's safe to do so. If you don't want to get pregnant, talk with your doctor about birth control.
  • You may have some light vaginal bleeding. Wear sanitary pads if needed.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and avoid anything that puts pressure on your belly for a few weeks.

How do you prepare for an abdominal myomectomy?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your surgery. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don’t have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It’s a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

After abdominal myomectomy: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have chest pain, are short of breath, or cough up blood.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
  • You cannot pass stools or gas.
  • You have vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad.
  • You are sick to your stomach or cannot drink fluids.
  • You have loose stitches, or your incision comes open.
  • Bright red blood has soaked through the bandage over your incision.
  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the incision.
    • Pus draining from the incision.
    • A fever.
  • You have bright red vaginal bleeding that soaks one or more pads in an hour, or you have large clots.
  • You have signs of a blood clot in your leg (called a deep vein thrombosis), such as:
    • Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
    • Redness and swelling in your leg or groin.

Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.

After abdominal myomectomy: Overview

A myomectomy is surgery to take out fibroids from the uterus. Your doctor made a cut (incision) in your lower belly to remove the fibroids.

You can expect to feel better and stronger each day. But you may tire quickly and need pain medicine for a week or two. You may need about 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover.

Don't lift anything heavy while you are recovering. Give your incision and your belly muscles time to heal.

What happens on the day of your abdominal myomectomy?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Take a bath or shower before you come in for your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery center

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on.
  • The surgery will take about 2 hours.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.