Understanding hysterectomy: Everything you need to know before your procedure

Written by: Mr Johnson Amu
Edited by: Conor Dunworth

Hysterectomy is a serious procedure used to treat several conditions. In his latest online article, renowned consultant gynaecologist Mr Johnson Amu explains everything you need to know about this procedure. He tells us what the procedure involves, the different types of procedures and the potential complications.


What is a hysterectomy?

Hysterectomy is a medical procedure aimed at removing the womb, including its attached structures. In most cases, this involves removing the womb, the neck of the womb, and both tubes. Depending on factors like age and condition, consideration may be given to the removal of ovaries as well. Hysterectomy is often performed for various reasons, including early-stage endometrial cancer and non-cancerous conditions such as persistent heavy menstrual bleeding when other treatments have failed.

There are different ways to perform a hysterectomy, including keyhole surgery for quicker recovery and less pain, but it may not be suitable for all patients. Traditional methods involving a cut on the abdomen are also an option. The procedure can also be done vaginally without any abdominal incisions.


What are the different types of procedure?

A full hysterectomy involves removing the womb and all attached structures, while a partial hysterectomy removes only the top of the womb, leaving the cervix intact. The decision to remove ovaries depends on the patient's condition, especially in younger patients where the impact of hormonal changes is a consideration.


Are there any potential complications or risks?

Like any major surgery, hysterectomy carries risks. Common complications include pain, bleeding, infection, and the risk of scarring or hernia at the incision site. Other considerations involve clot formation in the leg or lungs, with varying risks depending on the surgical approach. Serious complications, although rare, may include injury to nearby structures like the bowel, bladder, blood vessels, and ureter.

Very rare complications include the need for additional surgery due to postoperative bleeding or infection.


What is the recovery period like?

Recovery from hysterectomy is a gradual process. Initially, there may be rough days, but over time, patients typically return to their normal activities. Support is essential, especially in the early days, for tasks like lifting and handling.

Mobilisation is encouraged to reduce the risk of blood clots. By four to six weeks, most women can resume their pre-surgery activities, with a complete return to normal functions within three months.


Are there any alternatives to hysterectomy?

Before opting for a hysterectomy, alternative treatments should be considered based on the specific condition. Non-invasive options include hormonal medications, such as tablets or hormonal intrauterine devices, to manage menstrual bleeding.

For those seeking a more effective and non-permanent solution, endometrial ablation may be an option. However, doing nothing and monitoring the condition is also a valid choice, especially for those approaching menopause when periods naturally stop.



If you would like to book a consultation with Mr Johnson Amu, you can do so today via his Top Doctors profile.

By Mr Johnson Amu
Obstetrics & gynaecology

Mr Johnson Amu is a leading consultant gynaecologist based in Blackpool, Lancashire. Mr Amu is highly experienced in the management of different gynaecological conditions and treatments. His areas of expertise include menstrual disorders, ovarian cyst, pelvic pain (endometriosis), hysteroscopy surgery, and laparoscopy (key hole) surgery including hysterectomy.

Mr Amu currently practises privately at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, Blackpool and both the Buckshaw Hospital and Euxton Hall Hospital in Chorley. He also serves as the lead clinician for risk governance in obstetrics and gynaecology at Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He has served as a consultant gynaecologist in the NHS since 2012.

In addition to his clinical work, Mr Amu is also a highly revered medical researcher. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

He is a member of the British Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. 

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