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Hysterectomy (Womb Removal)

  • What is a Hysterectomy (Womb Removal)?

    Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is done to remove the uterus (womb). Depending on the reason for the surgery, it may be done through a cut in the abdomen (abdominal hysterectomy) or through the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy).

    Abdominal hysterectomy is usually done if the uterus is large from a fibroid (fibrous tissue) or tumour, while a vaginal hysterectomy is usually done for a prolapsed (out of place) uterus. Occasionally, laparoscopic or ‘keyhole’ surgery is done as a minimally invasive procedure.

    Sometimes, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed together with 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.

  • Hysterectomy may be needed if you have:

    • Cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix or endometrium
    • Fibroids – Non-cancerous tumours in the wall of your uterus
    • Endometriosis – The tissue that lines the uterus grows outside your uterus on your ovaries, fallopian tubes or other organs
    • Prolapse of the uterus – Your uterus drops from its usual position down into your vagina
    • Adenomyosis – The tissue that lines the uterus grows in the muscle walls of your 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 may be life-saving for some women.

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