Patient Information Leaflet on Having a Hysterectomy.

You are due to be admitted to Hospital for a hysterectomy to be done on _____________. It is essential that you continue with your current form of contraception before your operation. This is to ensure that you don’t fall pregnant just before the operation. I would also like you to know if you have any worries or questions about your operation, please feel free to telephone me.


The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic. A hysterectomy is an operation to remove your womb. The operation may either be performed Laparoscopically (keyhole) or via an incision in your bikini line in your lower abdomen. The operation is being performed with the intention of preserving your ovaries and unless a life-threatening condition of the ovaries is encountered your ovaries will not be removed. This will have been discussed in depth with you. The cervix (neck of the womb) is usually also removed but in some instances where technical difficulty is encountered this may be left behind. You will be informed if this occurs. Laparocopic surgery involves 3 or 4, tiny incisions in your abdomen. In view of the shorter hospital stay and faster recuperation time it is the preferred method of surgery however technically it may be difficult to perform and the procedure may have to be performed via a bikini line incision. This will have been discussed with you in depth at your pro-operative consult.


When the anaesthetic has worn off you may be in pain. The pain can be like a strong wind pain which may be felt in your abdomen, neck and shoulders. I like to act early to reduce your pain. You can help me to do this by telling us how strong the pain is.
We use a pain score numbers 0 – l0
( 0 = NO PAIN ) ( l0 = VERY STRONG PAIN )

I will have ordered pain relief for you and you should ask for this as soon as you require it.

You may have a catheter left in the bladder. This happens if the bladder is manipulated a fair bit during the operation and it is usually left in for 24 to 48 hours.
You will be in hospital for about 3 (laparoscopic) to 6 days (abdominal).
You should try to have 6 weeks of rest with no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. You should be aware that you may need up to 8 weeks off from work after a hysterectomy. (usually much less laparoscopic)

In general there is little bleeding after a hysterectomy. You should use sanitary towels but not tampons. If you have heavy bleeding, bad pains, a smelly vaginal discharge or a temperature you should contact me or your doctor.
In general there is little bleeding after a hysterectomy. You should use sanitary towels but not tampons. If you have heavy bleeding, bad pains, a smelly vaginal discharge or a temperature you should contact me or your doctor.
I also advise that you do not have sexual intercourse for 4 weeks, or at least until the bleeding has stopped. After a hysterectomy there is a possibility of getting a urine infection. Watch out for cystitis and if it does occur drink plenty of fluid. If symptoms persist contact me or see your G.P.

The risks of this procedure are minimal, but very occasionally injury may occur to the ureter which is the tube leading from your Kidneys to your bladder. If there is any risk of this a scan or xray of your abdomen will be arranged while you are in hospital. Very, very rarely a repeat operation may be needed to unblock this tube.
You may have a tube sticking out of your tummy for drainage. This is left in if there is more than average bleeding at the operation merely as a precautionary measure.
Occasionally there may be a fair amount of Bruising (blue-black) around the skin incisions. These usually disappear completely in 3 to 4 weeks.


It is aimed that you are discharged on Day 3 to Day 6 depending on the procedure.
If you have problems such as bad pain, increased bleeding, temperature, or generally feeling unwell please contact me or your GP. Remember to keep this leaflet to show to your GP.
You should not drive until you can sit comfortably in the seat with the seat belt across you. You should be able to turn your body as though to reverse and you must be able to perform an emergency stop.
Similarly if you try to do too much to soon you will know all about it. Rest and avoid any lifting.
I will review you at my rooms 4 to 6 weeks after the operation.
Sutures used for laparoscopic surgery are absorbable, and should have fallen off by two weeks. If this has not occurred, you may need to have them removed.




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Naylin Appanna
Womens Health Centre
Waikato U21’s