Surgery usually lasts around 1 - 1.5 hours and your recovery time and length of your hospital stay will depend on which type of procedure you have had, with abdominal hysterectomy taking the longest. Typically, you should expect to be in hospital for between 2-4 nights and recovery will take around 6-8 weeks.
Mr Curtis will see you following surgery and whilst you remain in hospital and you will then be reviewed again after around six weeks. However, if you have any concerns once you have been discharged from hospital you can either contact the ward or telephone the office for advice. You will also be seen by a Physiotherapist to offer help and guidance on your recovery.
Most procedures will be performed whilst you are under general anaesthetic (asleep) but it is sometimes possible to have a different type of anaesthetic which means that you are awake during the procedure. Please speak to Mr Curtis if you would like to consider this option. This is not usually an option with abdominal surgery.
A vaginal hysterectomy involves a cut being made in the top of the vagina through which the womb and cervix are then removed.
Sometimes small incisions will also be made in the abdomen to pass instruments through to assist with the operation. This is referred to as "laparoscopic assistance" and the incisions will normally be around 1-2 cm in length. At the end of the procedure the incision within the vagina is stitched up using dissolvable stitches, along with any that have been made in the abdomen.
Total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oöphorectomy
- removal of both the womb and cervix
- as above but also including removal of surrounding tissue, part of the vagina, lymph glands and fatty tissue
- removal of the main part of the womb but leaving the cervix
If you have your ovaries removed as part of the procedure and have not yet started the menopause you will go through what is classed as a "surgical menopause". As you will no longer have ovaries producing eggs and regulating ovulation and it means that your menopause will begin immediately after the operation.
Mr Curtis will discuss this with you and recommend a hormone replacement therapy regime to suit you.
A laparoscopic hysterectomy is now one of the most common methods of carrying out this procedure. A telescope (laparoscope) is passed through a small incision in the abdomen which then projects images back to a video monitor. One or two further, small incisions are made to pass instruments through into the abdomen.
Once the procedure is over the incisions are closed with dissolvable stitches under the skin and covered with small dressings.
An abdominal hysterectomy is performed under general anaesthetic and will usually be recommended if the uterus is enlarged or you have fibroids that are too large to remove vaginally.
An abdominal hysterectomy will usually involve making a horizontal cut along your bikini line, although sometimes it may be necessary to make the cut vertically - from your belly button to bikini line. At the end of the procedure the incision will be closed using either stitches or staples.
- as above but with removal of both fallopian tubes and ovaries