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This page will provide you with information about a Vaginal Hysterectomy. For further details, you should speak to your consultant.
Through a cut made by your gynaecologist at the top of the vagina, your uterus (womb) and cervix will be removed. Your ovaries can also be removed during this operation, but they will usually be left in place (see figure 1).
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The main reasons women decide to undergo this major surgery is usually due to fibroid problems, extremely heavy and/or painful periods or uterine prolapse.
After the operation, your symptoms should improve, or go completely. In addition, your periods will cease.
There are other, simpler treatments that should always be tried first:
Your gynaecologist will use special surgical instruments to detach the womb from the ligaments holding it in place, by making a small incision around your cervix (at the top of the vagina). Your womb and cervix will then be removed. The surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic, so you will be unconscious during the procedure. The operation usually takes around an hour to complete. In order to minimise the risk of future prolapse, the ligaments that held your womb in place will be stitched to the top of your vagina.
Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.
After 1-3 days, you doctor should allow you to go home. Once home, however, you will need to rest for at least two weeks and continue with the exercises recommended to you by your healthcare team. After 1-2 months, you should be able to return to work – although, of course, this will depend on your line of work. After 2-3 months, you should be feeling back to your usual self. Regular exercise can certainly help with this, however you should always seek professional advice before doing so.
A vaginal hysterectomy is a big operation and should only be considered after less invasive, simpler treatments have been tried. You should, however, see vast improvements to your symptoms after the surgery.
References: EIDO Healthcare Limited - The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.
The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.