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A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure involving the removal of a woman's uterus. This operation is appropriate to address various gynaecological conditions affecting the reproductive system.

There are numerous reasons for performing hysterectomies, which include treating cancer of the uterus, managing endometriosis, addressing excessive uterine bleeding unresponsive to hormonal therapy, alleviating severe and persistent pelvic pain, managing uterine prolapse, dealing with fibroids, or addressing uterine relaxation.

Different methods are available for removing the uterus, and in certain cases, it may be feasible to conduct the surgery without leaving a visible scar.

The process of a hysterectomy entails the surgical excision of a woman's uterus, sometimes concurrently removing the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Several procedures are available, with the choice dependent on individual circumstances, as advised by your consultant.

Vaginal Hysterectomy

Typically performed under general anesthesia, lasting about one hour.

Access to the uterus is gained through the vaginal wall.

The uterus and cervix are removed using specialised instruments.

Closure is done with dissolvable stitches.

A gauze dressing in the vagina may be used to control bleeding.

A catheter may be inserted but is usually removed the day after surgery.

Abdominal Hysterectomy

Conducted under general anaesthesia.

The length of the procedure varies based on the reason for the hysterectomy.

An incision is made in the abdominal area, either horizontally along the bikini line or vertically from the navel to the bikini line.

The uterus and any problematic reproductive organs are removed.

Closure is performed using stitches or staples.

A drainage tube may be placed in the wound, typically removed before hospital discharge.

Dressings may be applied to protect the wound, and a catheter might be used temporarily.

Laparoscopic (keyhole) Hysterectomy

Performed under general anesthesia in about 60-90 minutes.

Multiple small incisions are made in the abdomen, allowing for the use of surgical instruments and a camera.

Carbon dioxide gas is used to inflate the abdomen.

The womb and cervix are removed through a small incision around the cervix.

Wounds are closed with stitches or staples.

How long does it take to recover from surgery?

Recovery time after a hysterectomy is typically 6-8 weeks. The duration of hospital stay and recovery period depends on individual circumstances and the type of hysterectomy. Patients are encouraged to start moving as soon as possible, with pain relief provided as needed.

Various potential complications are associated with hysterectomy, although these are rare. Your consultant will discuss these risks with you during the decision-making process.

Hysterectomy is a major operation so it's important that you understand the effects surgery will have on your body.

After a hysterectomy changes may include the inability to have children, immediate onset of menopause if the ovaries are removed, and potential emotional changes.

Understanding the potential effects of a hysterectomy on your body is crucial, as it can have significant and life-changing implications.

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