Vaginal hysterectomy

An operation to remove your uterus

A surgical procedure to treat a variety of gynaecological conditions


As well as your uterus, your surgeon may remove your cervix (neck of the uterus) too. In some cases they might also remove your fallopian tubes and ovaries. This operation can treat non-cancerous tumours called fibroids, endometriosis, heavy bleeding, pelvic pain and cancer. 

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Your surgeon will make a single cut in your vagina to remove your uterus (and cervix, if necessary). You can chose to have the operation under general or regional anaesthetic. If you have general anaesthetic you'll be asleep, so you won't feel anything. If you have regional anaesthetic, you'll be awake but the area will be completely numb, so you won't feel any pain. Your surgeon will then close the cut using dissolvable stitches.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your surgeon will explain how you can prepare for this operation. They'll also explain exactly what's going to happen during the procedure. If you're having general anaesthetic, your consultant will tell you how long you should avoid eating and drinking for. You won't be able to do anything strenuous for up to eight weeks after the procedure so it's a good idea to ask friends or relatives to help you out at home after the operation.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You might be able to go home the same day as the operation. However, some women need to be cared for in hospital for up to five days afterwards. You may feel pain and discomfort in your abdomen a few days after the operation. And you'll probably experience some bleeding and discharge too. You shouldn't lift anything heavy or do any exercise for at least six weeks after a vaginal hysterectomy. You may be able to drive after four weeks. And, depending on your job, you could go back to work between four to eight weeks after the operation. Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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