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General enquiries:
+44 (0)207 935 4444
Book an appointment:
+44 (0)207 616 7693
Self-pay enquiry:
+44 (0)203 219 3315

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is an operation to remove your uterus (womb). Your cervix (neck of your womb) is usually also removed. Your fallopian tubes and ovaries may need to be removed at the same time.

Figure showing the womb and surrounding structures

What are the benefits of surgery?

There are common reasons for having an abdominal hysterectomy.

  • Heavy or painful periods.
  • Fibroids, where part of the muscle of your womb becomes overgrown.

A hysterectomy may cure or improve your symptoms. You will no longer have periods.

Are there any alternatives to an abdominal hysterectomy?

  • Symptoms may be improved by doing pelvic floor exercises.
  • Heavy periods can be treated using a variety of non-hormonal and hormonal oral (by mouth) medications. Other alternatives include an IUS (intra-uterine system - an implant containing a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone that fits in your womb) or ‘conservative surgery’ to remove the lining of your womb.
  • Depending on the size and position of fibroids, you can take medication to try to control the symptoms. Other treatments include surgery to remove the fibroids only (myomectomy) or to shrink the fibroids by reducing their blood supply.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes about an hour.

Your gynaecologist may examine your vagina. They will make a cut on your abdomen, usually on your ‘bikini’ line or sometimes on your midline.

Your gynaecologist will remove your womb and fallopian tubes, usually along with your cervix, through the cut. To remove your cervix, they will also need to make a cut at the top of your vagina.

What complications can happen?

Some of these can be serious and can even cause death.

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring of your skin
  • Developing a hernia in the scar
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung

Specific complications of this operation

  • Pelvic infection or abscess
  • Vaginal cuff dehiscence
  • Developing an abnormal connection (fistula) between your bowel, bladder or ureters and your vagina
  • Damage to structures close to your womb
  • Developing a collection of blood (haematoma) inside your abdomen

Long-term problems

  • Developing a prolapse
  • Continued bleeding from your cervix
  • Your pain may continue
  • Difficulty or pain having sex
  • Tissues can join together in an abnormal way
  • Passing urine more often, having uncontrolled urges to pass urine or urine leaking from your bladder when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
  • Feelings of loss as a hysterectomy will make you infertile
  • Going through menopause

How soon will I recover?

You will be able to go home when your gynaecologist decides you are medically fit enough, which is usually after 3 to 5 days.

Rest for 2 weeks and continue to do the exercises that you were shown in hospital.

You can return to work once your doctor has said you are well enough to do so (usually after 6 to 8 weeks, depending on your type of work). You should be feeling more or less back to normal after 3 months.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Most women make a good recovery and return to normal activities.

Why choose The London Clinic?

The London Clinic is dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare with over 600 world-renowned consultants available to offer informed health advice and treatment.

Spanning Harley Street and Devonshire Place, The London Clinic is situated in the heart of London’s internationally-known medical district. This central location, together with state-of-the art technologies and facilities that are not widely available in other hospitals, makes The London Clinic the hospital of choice for around 120,000 patients every year.

The London Clinic is an HTA licensed and JACIE accredited cancer centre with an ‘Excellent’ MacMillan Quality Environment Mark and with access to a Level 3 intensive care unit.

Offering affordable and competitive self-pay packages and expert support from Clinical Nurse Specialists and our specialised multidisciplinary team, over 98% of our patients said they would recommend The London Clinic to their friends and families.

TREATMENT COST

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments. Please call +44 (0)20 3219 3315 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

Summary

A hysterectomy is a major operation usually recommended after simpler treatments have failed. Your symptoms should improve.

Disclaimer

The operation and treatment information on this website is published under license by The London Clinic from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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Main numbers

General enquiries: +44 (0) 207 935 4444 Appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7693 Self-pay: +44 (0) 203 219 3315

Other numbers

Concierge service: +44 (0) 203 219 3323 International office: +44 (0) 203 219 3266 Invoice and payment enquiries: +44 (0) 207 616 7708

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Breast services appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7653 Diagnostics appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7653 Endoscopy appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7760 Eye centre appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7768 Haematology appointments: +44 (0) 207 535 5503 Kidney services appointments: +44 (0) 207 224 5234 Liver services appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7719 Physiotherapy appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7651 Radiology appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7653

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