Hysterectomy (Womb Removal)
What is Hysterectomy (Womb Removal)?
Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is done to remove patient’s uterus (womb). Depending on the reason for the hysterectomy, it may be performed through an incision in the abdomen (abdominal hysterectomy) or through the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy).
Abdominal hysterectomy is usually done if the uterus is large from a fibroid or tumour, while a vaginal hysterectomy is usually done for a prolapsed uterus. Occasionally, laparoscopic or ‘keyhole’ surgery is done as a minimally invasive procedure.
Sometimes, patient’s ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed in addition to the uterus and cervix. The decision to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes depends on the reason for surgery. Hysterectomy is usually done only when all other treatments have been tried.
Why do patients need Hysterectomy (Womb Removal)?
Hysterectomy may be needed if patients have:
- Cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix or endometrium
- Fibroids — Non-cancerous tumours in the wall of patient’s uterus
- Endometriosis — The tissue that lines the uterus grows outside patient’s uterus on the ovaries, fallopian tubes or other organs
- Prolapse of the uterus — Patient’s uterus drops from its usual position down into the vagina
- Adenomyosis — The tissue that lines the uterus grows in the muscle walls of patient’s uterus
- Chronic uterine pain
- Severe abnormal vaginal bleeding
Very rarely, hysterectomy is needed to control bleeding during a caesarean delivery following rare pregnancy complications. There are other methods to control bleeding, but hysterectomy is still needed for some women.