A hysterectomy is the removal of the womb and usually the cervix. There are three types of hysterectomy:

  1. Vaginal
  2. Abdominal
  3. Laparoscopically assisted (keyhole).

The type of hysterectomy you will have can sometimes only be decided when you are asleep in theatre.

Sometimes the ovaries and tubes are removed as well, especially if you have gone through the menopause. This is only possible with an abdominal hysterectomy although it can be done laprascopically with a vaginal hysterectomy or keyhole surgery. This will be discussed with you beforehand. If your ovaries are removed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will also be discussed.

Before the operation
You will be informed by post of a time to attend “Pre Admission Clinic”. This is usually about a week before your operation and allows us to ask you some general health questions, examine you and do some routine tests e.g. blood tests. It is also a good time for you to ask any questions. You will then be admitted to the gynaecology ward before your operation.

After the operation
When you wake up you will be in the recovery room. You will usually have an oxygen mask on your face and a drip into the back of your hand.

Day 1 – First day after your operation
You will still feel sleepy, and may need help with a wash and change of nightwear. If you feel well enough, you will be allowed out of bed for a short time during the day. You will often be taking sips of fluid within a few hours of surgery but may be able to drink freely and even have a light meal by the end of the day as soon as you are well enough. We encourage you to be mobile as soon as possible.

Day 2/3
You will be able to walk to the bathroom and you will be encouraged to mobilize. You will be eating and drinking normally.
You will usually be seen by the physiotherapist. Most drips / drains will have been removed and we will be planning for home as soon as you are well. NB. If you need help with washing then please ask as people recover at different rates. With a varied recovery people go home from day 2 onwards.