Hysterectomy is a surgical operation to remove the uterus (womb) and may also include removal of the cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Indications for hysterectomy
- Endometriosis or chronic pelvic pain
- Uterine prolapse
- Persistent vaginal bleeding
- Gynaecological cancer
Total abdominal hysterectomy
This procedure is performed through a 5 inch incision in the abdominal wall. This incision can be horizontal – running across the top of the pubic bone (bikini line) or vertical – from just below the naval to the pubic bone. This form of hysterectomy is useful if there are large fibroids or if cancer is suspected. The disadvantages include more pain and a longer recovery time than other procedures, and a larger scar. Hospital stay is usually 3-5 days.
This procedure is performed through a small incision at the top of the vagina. It is often the method of choice if there is evidence of uterine prolapse. There is less post-operative pain and a quicker recovery. Hospital stay is usually 2-3 days.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy (key hole)
There are 2 types of laparoscopic hysterectomy, a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) and a laparoscopic assisted supracervical hysterectomy (LASH). In both procedures small surgical instruments are introduced into the abdominal cavity inorder to assist the surgeon. For a LAVH the procedure is completed using an incision at the top of the vagina, however for a LASH the whole procedure is completed through the small abdominal incisions. Both types of operation are associated with less pain and a quicker recovery. Hospital stay is 1-2 days.
Surgical risks of hysterectomy
Most women experience no complications during or following a hysterectomy. However risks associated with hysterectomy include:
- Blood clots
- Bowel or bladder injury
- Heavy blood loss requiring transfusion
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I recently had a hysterectomy, Mr Farrell was available to provide me with advice by telephone, even when I went home.Yvonne (Sheffield)