Vaginal hysterectomy surgery
In a vaginal hysterectomy, the womb is removed through an incision in the top of the vagina, using specially designed instruments. The top of the vagina is then closed with dissolvable stitches. The procedure usually takes about three quarters of an hour and does not leave any visible scar. Vaginal hysterectomy is used in preference to abdominal hysterectomy as it is less invasive and recovery times are often quicker. In most cases, the ovaries will be left in place.
Abdominal hysterectomy surgery
If the womb can't be removed vaginally, perhaps because it is enlarged due to fibroids or tumours, the surgeons at BMI Healthcare will remove it through an incision in the abdomen. Where possible, a horizontal incision in the bikini line is used, however in the case of large fibroids or cancer, a vertical incision may be employed. Abdominal hysterectomy surgery is performed when it is also necessary to remove the ovaries, usually in the treatment of cancer.
Recovery from hysterectomy surgery
The time spent in hospital for hysterectomy surgery is dependent on age and level of general health, however it is, on average, 1-4 days for a vaginal hysterectomy and 4-6 days for an abdominal hysterectomy. In both cases, it is important to rest at home for two weeks after surgery, and follow the programme of exercises provided by the hospital. Women who have had an abdominal hysterectomy should not lift anything heavy to allow the stomach muscles to heal properly and should be back at work within 6-12 weeks. Women who have had a vaginal hysterectomy should be back at work within 6-8 weeks.