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Kerry, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  35 years in Nursing: OB/GYN, Peds, Oncology, hospice, Ortho, Neuro, Addiction, Recovery, Geriatrics,
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I had a total hysterectomy surgery three weeks ago.

Customer Question

I had a total hysterectomy surgery three weeks ago. Everything went well except for persisting nausea. I have lost 15 pounds in the last two weeks. I can eat and do often I keep thinking if I do I will feel better and sometimes do for a short time. I can eat very little before feeling very full. So I eat a little bit every hour. I burp alot and can't even swallow my own saliva so I'm spitting often(real attactive). Smells still bother me but not as bad as right after surgery.I know several people who have had the same surgery but not this outcome. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 12 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Cheryl K. replied 12 years ago.

The nausea could be from some medication that they may have you on which is causing this to continue on for so long.

When you are on Pain medication from surgery it does affect your senses such as smell and taste, nothing smells good and nothing tastes right.

When I had emergency surgery a month ago the narcotic pain medication I was on did this same thing. I thought it was the bland hospital food but when I got home nothing at home tasted good either so I contacted my doctor who explained how medication affects your senses.

With stomach area surgery you can feel full before you really are as your stomach expands and because of the healing you are going through this makes you want to eat less because you feel full from the pressure your stomach puts on the surgical area.

It is possible that medication has caused some acid reflux which would account for the burping when you eat.

But on the other hand for this nausea to continue for three weeks I suggest you contact the physician who did the surgery and let them know of the trouble you are still experiencing. If they still have you on a certain medication there is a good chance it is causing this and they may be able to substitute it for something else.

Please let me know if I can help you with this anymore.

Much luck to you!!

Customer: replied 12 years ago.
Reply to cheryl kauffman's Post: I stopped taking anything for the pain the day after I returned home from the hospital. I assumed the same as you that it was the pain medication. No such luck. If I do take someting for pain now, even tylenol, it upsets my stomach more than it already is. So I take nothing if possible. I have talked with my doctor and have a appointment in a few days. Which seems like a few years when you feel like I do. But it gets fustrating when people tell you shoudn't still feel this way. They tend to make you feel like you are making it up or imagining it. Thats the reason for my using the internet to try to find out if this is as ucommon as they make me feel it is. So I thank you for your answer but It really didn't give me anything I didn't already know or try.
Expert:  Kerry replied 12 years ago.


You are not crazy. This is very real.

Here is an article I found:

Most of the time, nausea after gynecological surgery subsides in the first week, or possibly two. Occasionally it persists for a long time and then we need to know if something is wrong or is it just the body's response to the insult of surgery and all of the perioperative bowel preps, anesthesia, antibiotics, and other medications.

Nausea and loss of appetite can persist after two weeks and when this happens, we honestly just do not know why it takes so long for the bowel function to return to normal. I suspect that antibiotics during and possibly after surgery are the main culprits that disturb the normal bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract. Taking capsules with live Acidophilus cultures may help this. Sometimes you have just been eating different foods than you normally did and the stomach is sensitive to these.

You may have discontinued smoking or caffeine or a medication you were on which increased bowel motility and now the bowel is quite lazy and produces an intermittent illeus (lack of bowel muscle movement). Just being at home all day if you were used to going out of the house for work or leisure can lead to swallowing more saliva and air which causes increased gas and nausea. Be sure to try to restart all of your presurgical eating and activity habits now that you are six weeks out.

There are, however, conditions or complications of surgery that your doctor should look for. A chronic infection at the appendiceal stump can cause these problems as can adhesions affecting the bowel. A CAT scan may be needed to detect an abscess; adhesions can only be suspected but not confirmed short of repeat surgery. Injury at the time of surgery to the bladder or ureter can also cause this prolonged bowel problem. A kidney xray (IVP) may be needed to see injury although a CAT scan may also pick this up.

In summary I would say to use the Acidophilus capsules, closely examine any food or medication changes that have taken place and try to resume your normal activities. If there is no explanation there or if the nausea and loss of appetite persists or seems to worsen, ask your doctor about the possibility of further studies to look at the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys.

So, be persistant, call your doctor again, suggest the above.


Kerry, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: 35 years in Nursing: OB/GYN, Peds, Oncology, hospice, Ortho, Neuro, Addiction, Recovery, Geriatrics,
Kerry and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 years ago.
Reply to Kerry's Post: Thank you Kerry I also read this article on the Faq's website(Nausea and gas pains persisting 6wks after TAH). The article scared me more since this poor lady has gone 6 weeks and myself only 3 I couldn't stand 3 more weeks(and it doesn't say if and when it was ever over). I was hoping to find a quick fix it just doesn't seem to be out there. I had already printed out this article just to prove to the doctor its not just me. Thank you,again