Hysterectomy refers to the surgical removal of the uterus (womb). A common reason for considering a hysterectomy is heavy menstrual bleeding. Other indications for hysterectomy include:
Hysterectomy is a common gynaecological procedure. Every year in Australia, 30,000 Australian women undergo a hysterectomy. In America, 600,000 hysterectomies are performed every year. Hysterectomy is the second most common surgical operation performed in women (after Caesarean sections as the most common surgical procedure performed in women of reproductive age).
Hysterectomy can be performed using keyhole surgery (laparoscopic hysterectomy), through the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy), or through an incision in the abdomen (abdominal hysterectomy). The benefits of laparoscopic hysterectomy and vaginal hysterectomy include faster recovery and a shorter hospital stay compared to the traditional abdominal hysterectomy. Most women stay in hospital for only 1-2 nights following a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy.
In Australia, 50% of hysterectomies are performed vaginally, 40% through open hysterectomy, and only 10% are being performed through keyhole surgery. It has been estimated that there would be a $50 million savings to the Australian health budget if more laparoscopic hysterectomies are performed in Australia, with savings attributable to women returning to work earlier, as well as lower post-operative infective complication rates and readmission to hospital following laparoscopic hysterectomy compared with traditional open hysterectomy.
Having a hysterectomy does NOT necessarily mean that you will go through the menopause straight after the surgery. Most often, the ovaries are preserved after a hysterectomy, unless there are other indications which require the ovaries to be removed. This will be discussed before the surgery.
Dr Ken Law is a Brisbane gynaecologist who specialises in performing Laparoscopic Hysterectomy and Vaginal Hysterectomy. For further information and to discuss your treatment options with Brisbane Hysterectomy specialist Dr Ken Law, contact Dr Law to arrange a consultation at Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology.