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Why might you need a hysterectomy?

Sometimes, the fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed at the same time. Hysterectomies are performed for a variety of reasons, including cancer of the uterus, endometriosis, excessive bleeding which doesn't respond to hormone therapy, severe persistent pelvic pain, prolapsed uterus, or relaxation of the uterus.

There is more than one method of removing the uterus, and in some cases it may be possible to carry out the surgery without leaving an external scar.

What happens during hysterectomy surgery?

A hysterectomy involves the surgical removal of a woman's uterus. There are several procedures available. Your consultant will advise you on the right procedure for you.

Vaginal hysterectomy

  • Your surgeon may recommend a vaginal hysterectomy if your uterus and cervix are being removed
  • A vaginal hysterectomy is usually performed using general anaesthetic (you'll be asleep) and takes about one hour
  • Your surgeon will access your uterus through a hole in the wall of your vagina
  • Your uterus and cervix will be pulled forward and using special instruments they will remove your uterus and the ligaments that hold it in place along with your cervix
  • The wound will be closed using dissolvable stitches
  • You may have a gauze dressing in your vagina to help control any bleeding
  • You may have a catheter (tube to help you pass urine from your bladder) in place
  • This is usually removed the day after your surgery.

Abdominal hysterectomy

  • An abdominal hysterectomy is usually performed using general anaesthetic (you'll be asleep)
  • The length of your surgery will depend on why you are having your hysterectomy
  • Your surgeon will make an incision (cut) in your abdomen (stomach)
  • The incision may be horizontal along your bikini line or vertical from your navel (belly button) to your bikini line
  • They will remove your uterus and any other reproductive organs that may be causing symptoms
  • Your wound will be closed using stitches or staples
  • There may be a drainage tube in your wound that will be removed before you leave hospital
  • Dressings may be used to cover and protect your wound
  • You may also have a catheter (tube that drains your urine from your bladder) in place that will also be removed the day after surgery.

Laparoscopic (keyhole) hysterectomy

  • A laparoscopic hysterectomy is usually performed under general anaesthetic and takes from 60 - 90 minutes
  • Your surgeon will make several small incisions (cuts) in your abdomen (stomach)
  • So your surgeon has room to work your abdomen will be inflated with carbon dioxide gas
  • Surgical instruments and a long, thin tube connected to a light and camera will be inserted in the incisions in your abdomen
  • Your surgeon will also make a small incision around your cervix and use instruments to remove your womb and cervix through your vagina
  • Your wounds will be closed with stitches or staples.

Will it take long to recover?

  • Most women make a good recovery from a hysterectomy in 6 - 8 weeks
  • Your length of stay in hospital and recovery time will depend on your own situation and the type of hysterectomy you have
  • You may need to stay in hospital for a few nights
  • We will encourage you to get out of bed and take short walks as soon as possible following your surgery
  • You will be given pain relief medication but be sure to let us know if you are still experiencing any discomfort
  • Once we discharge you, somebody will need to take you home
  • Your may be sore and suffer some bruising, which is perfectly normal
  • You should rest and limit your activity. Avoid strenuous activity and any heavy lifting
  • Take any pain relief medications as prescribed
  • Move around at home several times per day to avoid the formation of blood clots
  • Be sure and discuss any return to work with your consultant.

Are there any risks?

As with any surgical procedure, there could be complications. Your consultant will talk you through any possible risks or complications before your surgery.

Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment
Bournemouth  

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Overall rating View rating
Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Good
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370919
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6SY

01242 246 500
Overall rating Good
Chester  

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 262110
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

01413349441
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding
Leicester  

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

Enquiries 0300 1311416
Overall rating Good
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 625431
Overall rating Good
Oxford  

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
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Shrewsbury  

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282628
Overall rating Good
Taunton  

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Overall rating Good
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

Enquiries 0300 131 1400
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good
Woking  

Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

Switchboard 01483 227800
Overall rating Good
Wolverhampton  

Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE

01902 754 177
Overall rating Good
York  

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715000
Overall rating Good

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