This information is for you if you are about to have, or you are recovering from, a laparoscopic hysterectomy (an operation to remove your uterus (womb) by keyhole surgery. You might also find it useful to share this information with your family and friends.

There are several different types of hysterectomy, including:
  • Total hysterectomy, where both the uterus and cervix (neck of the womb) are removed.
  • Subtotal hysterectomy, where just the uterus is removed and the cervix is not.
  • Hysterectomy with salpingooophorectomy (removal of one or both or your ovaries and your fallopian tubes) at the same time. Some laparoscopic hysterectomies are done entirely by keyhole surgery.

Surgeries can be done Open(TAH), Laparoscopically (TLH) or partially through your vagina (Laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy or LAVH).

We at Gateway Clinics specialise in Total Laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Usual length of stay in hospital :

In most instances, you will be admitted to hospital on the day of your operation. You may be able to go home within 24 hours or, depending on your circumstances, you may need to stay in hospital for one to three days.

Catheter :

You may have a catheter (tube) in your bladder to allow drainage of your urine. This is usually for up to 24 hours after your operation until you are easily able to walk to the toilet to empty your bladder. If you have problems passing urine, you may need to have a catheter for a few days.

Stitches and dressings :

Cuts on your abdomen will be closed by stitches or glue. Glue and some stitches dissolve by themselves. Other stitches may need to be removed. This is usually done by the practice nurse at hospital near your home about five to seven days after your operation. You will be given information about this. Your cuts will initially be covered with a dressing. You should be able to take this off about 24 -48  hours after your operation and have a wash or shower (see section on washing and showering). Any stitches in your vagina if taken rarely will not need to be removed, as they are dissolvable.

Washing and showering :

You should be able to have a shower or bath and remove any dressings two days after your operation. Don’t worry about getting your scars wet – just ensure that you pat them dry with clean disposable tissues or let them dry in the air. Keeping scars clean and dry helps healing.

A positive outlook :

Your attitude towards how you are recovering is an important factor in determining how your body heals and how you feel in yourself. You may want to use your recovery time as a chance to make some longer term positive lifestyle choices such as:

  • starting to exercise regularly if you are not doing so already and gradually building up the levels of exercise that you take.
  • eating a healthy diet - if you are overweight, it is best to eat healthily without trying to lose weight for the first couple of weeks after the operation; after that, you may want to lose weight by combining a healthy diet with exercise.