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Hysterectomy - Overview

A hysterectomy is a procedure to remove the womb. After this surgery you will be unable to get pregnant. You will also no longer have any periods if you have not already gone through menopause.

Hysterectomy is a common procedure for women, especially those between the ages of 40 and 50.

What are the different types of Hysterectomy?

The type of hysterectomy performed will vary based on why you need the operation, and the extent to which the womb, and the surrounding reproductive system, can be kept in place safely.
  • Subtotal Hysterectomy: Only the main body of the womb will be removed. The cervix and other reproductive organs will remain.
  • Total Hysterectomy: Both the womb and the cervix will be removed. This is the most common procedure.
  • Total Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy: the womb, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries will be removed.
  • Radical Hysterectomy: The womb, cervix, and the surrounding reproductive system, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, part of the vagina, fatty tissue and lymph glands will be removed.
At Midlands Women's Health we perform Hysterectomy in three different ways:
  • Vaginal Hysterectomy: The womb is removed through a cut in the top of the vagina.
  • Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy: This procedure uses a laparoscope (small camera attached to a tube) to guide the removal of the uterus or other reproductive organs/tissue through the vagina.
  • Abdominal Hysterectomy: A cut, approximately 10cm long will be cut across your tummy. This can be either vertical from your belly button to bikini line, or along your bikini line. The womb is then removed with specialist surgical instruments and your incision is closed either with specialist glue or staples. Dressings will prevent the incision from becoming infected.
Find out more about Vaginal or Laparoscopic Assisted Hysterectomy:
RisksReasons for having a hysterectomyPre/Post Operative InstructionsHysterectomy Specialists
Length of procedure:
1-2 hours
Anaesthetic:
General anaesthetic
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Reasons for Having a Hysterectomy:

A hysterectomy is only recommended if other treatments have been unsuccessful. It is a major operation which removes the ability of a woman to get pregnant.

Common reasons:

  • Heavy Periods - these may be caused by fibroids
  • Pelvic Pain - This may be caused by fibriods, endometriosis, adenomyosis or unsuccessfully treated pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Vaginal (Uterine) Prolapse - Prolapse of the uterus
  • Cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovaries
  • Uterine Fibroids - non cancerous growths that develop in your womb. Symptoms include a feeling of pressuure across your pelvic area, heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain.

Risks of Hysterectomy:

Risks/Complications (rare)

  • Heavy Bleeding - You may require a transfusion or a second procedure to stop further blood loss
  • Infection - Such as a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Damage to other organs - Damage to other organs is rare but can include damage to your bladder or bowel. This can cause issues with incontinence.
  • Ovarian Failure - Your ovaries may stop functioning properly. This is because they are supplied some blood from the uterus which is removed during this procedure.
  • Prolapse
  • Continued Pain
  • Adhesions
  • Menopause, even if your ovaries are not removed

Pre/Post Procedure Instructions:

How can I prepare for my surgery?

It's important to be as healthy as possible for your surgery. This will reduce the risks of complications and speed up your recovery. When you know you're going to have a hysterectomy you should:
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Excercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight (or lose weight if you're overweight)
A pre-assessment appointment, a few days prior to your procedure, may also be required. This can involve having blood tests and a general health check-up. This is also a good opportunity to ask any questions about your surgery.

What should I expect following my Hysterectomy procedure?

You may be able to go home the same day as your procedure, before this:
  • A blood test may be required
  • Any medication you require will be prescribed
  • Your doctor may want you to have had a bowel movement before being discharged
Recovery:
  • You may feel more tired than usual following your procedure
  • A Hysterectomy can be very emotionally stressful at first
  • Emotional and physical recovery can take up to six weeks but will vary depending on the person
  • Rest as much as possible for the first few days, but it is important to start light excercises and activities, and to follow any advice you have been given.
  • You may bleed for up to three weeks. Do not wear tampons, but we would advise that you wear sanitary pads and maintain good hygiene to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Your bowels may be affected for a while. Your pain medication can also cause issues with your bowels. Please contact your doctor for further advice or medication.
  • We advise you not to have sexual intercourse for six weeks following your procedure.

Hysterectomy - Specialists

Mr Yousri Affifi

Mr Yousri Affifi

Consultant Gynaecologist

Mr Y. Afifi has over 25 years of experience in specialised laparoscopic and reproductive surgeries.

He is the director of the Birmingham Endometriosis Centre and lead consultant of the reproductive surgery unit in Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

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Mrs Ruchira Singh

Mrs Ruchira Singh

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Ruchira is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with her NHS practice based at Birmingham Women's Hospital in Edgbaston. She is the Clinical Director of Gynaecology at her NHS Trust.

Ruchira is a reviewer for European Journal of Obstetrics and gynaecology. She is also a Senior clinical examiner and Honorary lecturer for University of Birmingham.

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Dr Pallavi Latthe

Dr Pallavi Latthe

Consultant Gynaecologist and subspecialist Urogynaecologist

Dr Pallavi is an accredited subspecialist in urogynaecology and a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust.

She is the clinical lead for Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology in the Trust.

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