22 October 2018
Thousands of women every year have a hysterectomy procedure but many are still not fully aware of why the operation is needed or the type of surgery involved.
Mr Mohammed Masood, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Spire Hartswood Hospital, explained: “Hysterectomy refers to an operation done to remove the womb (uterus). This may or may not be associated with the removal of the cervix, tubes and ovaries.
“It is usually performed after child bearing age as, after a hysterectomy, women stop their periods and can no longer become pregnant.
“It is a very commonly-performed surgery with around 30,000 women undergoing the procedure each year in England alone.
“However, it must be stressed that it is a major operation both physically and, for many, emotionally. It will only normally be considered when other less invasive treatments have been tried.”
Conditions that might result in a hysterectomy include:
- Heavy periods (menorrhagia) after other medical options prove unsuccessful
- Long-term pelvic pain including endometriosis
- Non-cancerous tumours (fibroids)
- Ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, cervical cancer
Mr Masood goes on to explain the different types of hysterectomy procedures available. He said: “In many cases hysterectomies are carried out using keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. This results in minimal cuts on the tummy, less post-operative pain and an earlier return to normal activity.”
Other operations include:
- Abdominal hysterectomy. This is the traditional approach to hysterectomy and is commonly performed through a bikini cut in the tummy. It is usually carried out on women who, for a variety of reasons, are not suitable for or are not feasible to do hysterectomy via keyhole surgery.
- Vaginal hysterectomy – This hysterectomy is performed through the vaginal route and is usually done in presence of a prolapse of uterus.