About vaginal hysterectomy
A vaginal hysterectomy is an operation to remove your womb through a cut in your vagina. A vaginal hysterectomy can treat a number of conditions that affect your womb including:
- non-cancerous tumours called fibroids
- endometriosis (where cells that normally line your womb grow outside it)
- heavy bleeding
- pain in your pelvis
There are different types of vaginal hysterectomy. Your surgeon may remove your womb and cervix (neck of your womb). Alternatively, he or she will remove just the upper part of your womb and leave your cervix in place. Or you may have your fallopian tubes and ovaries removed as well as your womb.
There are also different ways to perform the surgery. You can have an open operation through a single cut in your vagina. Alternatively you can have vaginal hysterectomy with the help of keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery.
How can I prepare for my vaginal hysterectomy?
Your surgeon will explain how to prepare and what will happen when you have a vaginal hysterectomy. Your hospital may ask you not to eat or drink anything for a set time before your procedure.
You may be seen as a day case. Arrange to have someone take you home afterwards.
What happens during my vaginal hysterectomy?
Before the procedure, your surgeon will talk you through the process and ask you to sign a consent form.
You may have a vaginal hysterectomy under general anaesthesia. This means you will be asleep during the procedure. Alternatively, you may have a local anaesthetic. This will numb the area and completely block any pain.
Your surgeon will make a single cut in your vagina. He or she will then remove your womb and cervix, if necessary. Your surgeon will then close the cut with dissolvable stitches.
The procedure usually takes around an hour and you may be able to go home the same day as your operation. However, some women need to stay in hospital for between two and three days.
Are there any complications or risks of my vaginal hysterectomy?
As with every procedure, there are complications associated with a vaginal hysterectomy. Speak to your surgeon for more information.
Complications of vaginal hysterectomy include an injury to a surrounding organ, such as your bladder or bowel. It's also possible you could get a blood clot in your wound, or an infection.
Recovering from vaginal hysterectomy
You might have some pain and discomfort in your abdomen for a few days or so. You will probably have some bleeding or discharge from your vagina for several weeks too.
It's important to not to lift anything heavy or do any strenuous activity for at least six weeks after vaginal hysterectomy.
It can take four to six weeks to make a full recovery from vaginal hysterectomy. You may be able to return to work after four to six weeks but this will depend on the type of job you have. You may be able to drive after two to four weeks.
How much does vaginal hysterectomy cost?
For a guide to what you could pay for your treatment, click here.
What to do next
Once you have decided that you would like to be treated at an HCA hospital, or would like further information, here's what to do next:
- Call one of our advisors on +44 (0) 20 3627 9910 or complete our web enquiry form.
- Check with your insurance company that your policy covers your treatment, and obtain authorisation.
- Visit or call your GP to obtain a referral letter and then call us to make an appointment to visit your chosen consultant and hospital at a time to suit you.
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