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Total laparoscopic hysterectomy (womb removal) is an operation used to treat a range of gynaecological conditions that affect your reproductive system
A total hysterectomy involves the removal of both your womb and cervix. Both procedures are most commonly performed to treat problems that affect the female reproductive system. A total hysterectomy is the preferred option over a subtotal hysterectomy, because removing your cervix eliminates the risk of you developing cervical cancer at a later stage.
After having a hysterectomy, you will no longer experience periods or be able to get pregnant. Some women will experience symptoms of the menopause, but not all. It can eliminate chronic pelvic pain, bloating, and heavy bleeding, among other symptoms.
On this page, we share more information about a total laparoscopic hysterectomy, which involves the removal of your womb and cervix through keyhole surgery. A total hysterectomy will typically be performed by a consultant gynaecologist, who might also be referred to as a gynaecological surgeon. Gynaecology is the branch of medicine that deals with the female reproductive system.
At Circle Health Group, we understand that the reason for undergoing a total hysterectomy, or any kind of hysterectomy, often causes immense emotional challenges as well as physical, and that the prospect of having a hysterectomy can be unnerving.
Our network of consultant gynaecologists is here to support you emotionally and physically throughout your journey to better health, ensuring you experience outstanding care before, during and after surgery. You will be treated by a consultant-led, multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals who are all committed to delivering excellent, tailored-to-you care that puts your needs first.
Our fixed-price packages includes the cost of your surgery and all appropriate aftercare appointments. Our costs include all surgery fees and aftercare appointments with our consultants. However, any pre-surgery diagnostic tests and your consultant’s outpatient appointment consultation fee are charged separately.
We offer flexible payment options that can help you to spread the cost of treatment; you can choose to pay over a period of one to five years with no deposit required. If you decide to pay over 10 months, you will pay interest-free. If you are paying for a longer period, you will pay 14.9% APR.
*This is a guide price for patients who are paying for their own treatment. The actual cost of your treatment will be confirmed in writing at the time of booking.
Symptoms that can indicate the need for a total laparoscopic hysterectomy include:
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, and they're significantly impacting your quality of life, it could be that a total hysterectomy could help you. A hysterectomy is a major procedure, and for most conditions it won't be recommended unless other, more conservative treatments have been tried and have not been able to sufficiently improve your symptoms.
The symptoms above can be caused by various gynaecological conditions, including:
Many women with cancer of the womb are treated with a total hysterectomy to remove the organs affected and therefore the cancer. Depending on where your cancer has spread, your consultant surgeon might also remove your fallopian tubes.
Endometriosis is a condition where cells from the uterine lining (the endometrium) are found outside your womb. It can cause a variety of distressing symptoms, including chronic pain, fatigue, and infertility. A total hysterectomy is sometimes used to treat severe endometriosis.
Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths that develop in your uterus. They can lead to feelings of heaviness and pressure across your pelvic area. If left untreated, uterine fibroids will continue to grow. They can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain.
There are several types of uterine fibroids. Each is determined by its location in your womb. The three main types are:
Intramural fibroids: These grow within the muscle wall of your womb and are the most common type of fibroid.
Subserosal fibroids: These develop on the outside of your womb and can grow into your pelvis.
Submucosal fibroids: These form in the muscle layer that sits beneath the inner lining of your womb.
Most people with uterine fibroids are unaware that they have them, because for many women they do not produce any symptoms. However, in other cases uterine fibroids can result in distressing symptoms that can only be alleviated through treatment such as a hysterectomy.
This occurs when your uterus slips down from its normal position and bulges into your vagina. It can cause significant pain and discomfort and result in urinary incontinence (leaking urine when you cough, sneeze or exercise). It can also cause discomfort and numbness during sex. A prolapse of the uterus can often occur after you give birth.
In preparation for the procedure, we recommend that you:
You will have blood tests and a general health check with your consultant before surgery to ensure you are healthy enough for the procedure. You will be able to ask your consultant as many questions as you would like about the procedure and how to prepare for it. They will offer tailored advice based on your circumstances.
A hysterectomy can be an emotional experience. The sudden change to your hormones caused by the removal of one or more parts of your reproductive system can cause mood swings and feelings of depression. The loss of fertility can also take an emotional toll on some women. But there are ways you can prepare emotionally for the surgery to protect your mental wellbeing afterwards.
Ensure you have a strong support system around you who will be there to support you physically and emotionally after surgery.
Consider trying talking therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), before and after surgery to help you manage your emotions by changing the way you think and behave. Your therapist can work with you to develop coping mechanisms to manage how you feel after having a hysterectomy.
You can discuss techniques for coping emotionally with a hysterectomy with your consultant, who is there to answer any questions you might have about any aspect of your experience.
A total laparoscopic hysterectomy typically takes one to three hours. It is performed under general anaesthetic, which means you will not be awake during it.
Your consultant will begin the surgery by making two or three small incisions across your tummy. They will then insert a laparoscope (a long thin tube with a camera attached to the end of it) through one of these incisions. The laparoscope is connected to a monitor that displays images of inside your reproductive system, so your consultant can see clearly as they perform the procedure.
Your consultant will remove your womb and cervix using specialist instruments inserted through the laparoscope. These organs will be carefully detached and removed from your body. Next, your consultant will close the incisions using either specialist glue or staples. Dressing will be applied to your incisions to protect them from becoming infected.
Your consultant will ensure you understand the exact technique they will use before your surgery so you can feel prepared and informed.
A total hysterectomy does not necessarily include the removal of the ovaries. In some instances your consultant will judge that it's better to keep your ovaries. In other cases, and in particular if you are at high risk of certain cancers, your ovaries will be removed during your hysterectomy operation.
The day after your surgery, your physiotherapist will encourage you to get out of bed and walk to help your blood flow. They will also show you a series of pelvic floor exercises that you can perform at home to reduce your pain and improve your mobility as you recover.
You will be able to return home between one and four days after your operation. It takes around six to eight weeks to fully recover after having a total laparoscopic hysterectomy. During this time, you should continue to perform the exercises your physiotherapist has taught you in hospital. Rest as much as possible and avoid heavy lifting and high-impact sport. Try brisk walks and gentle swimming for exercise but be gentle with yourself as you recover.
Drink plenty of fluids and increase your fibre intake to help with bowel and bladder movements (some people experience constipation after surgery).
If your ovaries are removed, you will usually experience menopausal symptoms after your operation. These can include:
You may be recommended hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after your operation to combat these symptoms. This can be given in the form of an implant, injections, or tablets.
Your consultant can discuss this treatment option with you.
Specific complications that can occur during a total hysterectomy include:
If you have any concerns about these, speak with your consultant. They will be able to discuss their likelihood with you in more detail and put your worries at ease.
You will not be able to have a pregnancy after a hysterectomy.
When you have a hysterectomy, your uterus (womb) is removed. Often your other reproductive organs are removed too (the ovaries and fallopian tubes). During the conception of a baby, the egg and sperm fuse to form an embryo. The womb acts as the vessel where the embryo attaches and grows, making these organs critical in the process of conceiving a baby.
However, there are other ways that you can have a baby following a hysterectomy, such as through surrogacy or adoption.
Your consultant will usually make two or three small incisions in your lower tummy. These are between 0.5cm and 1cm long.
During a total laparoscopic hysterectomy your consultant will remove your uterus and the opening to your cervix. Sometimes other parts of your reproductive system might be removed, including your fallopian tubes and ovaries.
The swelling in your tummy will take several weeks to dissipate (between four and six). Any discomfort caused by the swelling can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers.
If you would like to learn more, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.
Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in August 2022. Next review due August 2025.