Hysterectomy operations can be performed solely via the vagina (Vaginal Hysterectomy), through the abdomen (Abdominal Hysterectomy) or a combination of both (Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy). Abdominal Hysterectomies can either remove the womb and the neck of the womb (Total Hysterectomy) or just the main part of the womb (Subtotal Hysterectomy). Sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed as well, especially after the menopause (Salpingo-oophorectomy).
Hysterectomies are performed for heavy periods, where conservative treatments have failed, for severe period pain, endometriosis, prolapse, cancer or thickening of the lining of the womb, ovarian cysts, fibroids and other conditions.
If you have a vaginal hysterectomy, you will generally have a shorter hospital stay, with no abdominal incisions, less pain and quicker mobilisation after surgery. You will need 2 days in hospital.
Abdominal hysterectomies are performed usually through a bikini line cut and generally you will need 2-4 days in hospital and 6 weeks recovery at home. Occasionally if the fibroids or ovarian cysts are very large, a vertical incision is required in order to remove the womb and/or ovaries.
Hysterectomy is a very safe operation. However, there are several recognised complications. The complications of hysterectomies are:
Infection in the wound, abdomen or bladder. You will be given preventative antibiotics during the operation to prevent these.
Bleeding: the amount of bleeding is generally not very great, but you may require a blood transfusion if you bleed more than usual (e.g. where there are large fibroids).
Thrombosis/embolism: Any operation on your abdomen/pelvis increases the risk of clots in the veins of your legs which can break off and spread to the lungs. You will be given compression stockings to wear and injections to thin your blood while you are in hospital. After your surgery you should keep mobile, drink plenty of fluids and continue to wear your stockings.
Injury to other organs: this is very uncommon (less than 1% risk) unless you have had major surgery before and is usual due to scar tissue binding the bowel or bladder to the tummy wall or the womb/ovaries. Any bowel/bladder injury will be repaired at the time of surgery and you may require a longer period of recovery.
Holly House Hospital
Clinics Thursdays 9.00-12.00
Tel: 0208 936 1201
BMI London Independent Hospital
Clinics Thursdays 1-4pm
Tel: 0207 780 2400
Surgery is also performed at Spire Roding Hospital, Redbridge IG4 5PZ 02087097878