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A Hysterectomy is an operation to remove the womb (uterus). It may be advised for a number of reasons including the removal of Fibroids. At Kingsbridge Private Hospital our expert consultants will provide you with any information or concerns you have before you decide to have a hysterectomy.

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What is a hysterectomy ?

The female reproductive organs are made up of a womb, vagina, Fallopian tubes and ovaries. The womb is about the size of a pear. It is made of specialised muscle and lies in the pelvis between the bladder and the bowel. A Hysterectomy is the removal of the womb by an operation.

A hysterectomy can treat a number of conditions that affect the reproductive system including irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding, endometriosis, prolapse or fibroids.

A hysterectomy can be performed by one of the following three ways:

  • An abdominal hysterectomy, where your womb is removed through a cut in your abdomen
  • And a laparoscopic (keyhole) hysterectomy – a procedure done through small cuts in your abdomen which can also be used to assist with vaginal hysterectomy.

There are different types of surgeries which may be available depending on your condition:

  • Supracervical hysterectomy—removal of the uterus only
  • Total hysterectomy—removal of the uterus and cervix (the opening of the uterus leading to the vagina)
  • Radical hysterectomy—removal of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, upper part of the vagina, and the pelvic lymph nodes
  • Salpingo-oophorectomy—removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes (may be combined with any of the above procedures)

Usually your ovaries are usually left in place because they produce oestrogen – otherwise you would immediately go through the menopause. After a hysterectomy, you will no longer have periods or be able to become pregnant.

Why would I have a hysterectomy?

You may have a hysterectomy if your uterus is causing health problems that cannot be treated by other means. 
Possible reasons include the following:

  • Heavy or very painful periods. In some women, day-to-day life is made difficult because of heavy periods. Sometimes the heavy bleeding can cause anaemia. There are various other treatment options for heavy periods, including tablets and an intrauterine system (Mirena® coil). If they do not help to improve the problem, hysterectomy is an option for treatment. See separate leaflet called 'Heavy Periods (Menorrhagia)' for further information.
  • Fibroids. These are swellings of abnormal muscle that grow in the womb. Fibroids are common and often do not cause any symptoms. However, in some women they can cause heavy or painful periods. Some fibroids are quite large and can press on the bladder to cause urinary symptoms.
  • Prolapse. This is where the uterus or parts of the vaginal wall drop down. This may happen after the menopause when the tissues which support the uterus tend to become thinner and weaker.
  • Endometriosis. This is a condition where the cells which line the uterus are found outside the uterus in the pelvis. This can cause scarring around the uterus, and may cause the bladder or rectum to stick to the uterus or Fallopian tubes. Endometriosis may cause only mild symptoms, but some women develop painful periods, abdominal pain or have pain during sex.
  • Cancer. Hysterectomy may be advised if you develop cancer of the cervix, uterus, Fallopian tubes or ovaries. 

What happens during a vaginal hysterectomy?

Vaginal hysterectomy usually takes about an hour, during which your surgeon will pass specially designed instruments through your vagina to remove your cervix and womb. The surgeon will then close the top of your vagina using dissolvable stitches and may place a tampon-shaped dressing in your vagina. With a vaginal hysterectomy you won’t have any visible cuts or scars.

What happens during an abdominal hysterectomy?

An abdominal hysterectomy usually takes around an hour, but this can vary depending on the complexity of the surgery.

In most cases, your surgeon will create a 10cm long incision across your lower abdomen, just below your bikini line. Your surgeon will remove your womb through the cut in your abdomen, then stitches, metal clips or glue can be used to close the cut and the area will be covered with a dressing.

Following your hysterectomy

Recovery time will depend on the type of hysterectomy treatment you've received.

With a vaginal hysterectomy, you will need to stay in hospital for one to two days, whereas with an abdominal hysterectomy most women will stay in hospital for two to four days depending on recovery.

Following surgery at Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast, it will usually take about four to six weeks to make a full recovery from a vaginal hysterectomy and most women are able to return to work between two and six weeks after the procedure.

An abdominal hysterectomy normally takes about 4 to 12 weeks to make a full recovery from. Most women find they are able to return to work between 4 and 8 weeks after the operation. During the recovery period you can lift light items, such as a kettle, but nothing heavy. Following surgery, we recommend that a friend or relative to stay with you for the first few days after your treatment.

How others found this page:

Hysterectomy surgery in Belfast

Hysterectomy Belfast



Vaginal hysterectomy in Northern Ireland

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Keyhole hysterectomy in Belfast


Kingsbridge Private Hospital

811-815 Lisburn Road,

Healthcare Professionals & Consultants

Professor Jim Dornan

Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Dr David Glenn

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Clinical Director, South Eastern Trust, Belfast

Dr Frances Stewart

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Dr Agnieszka Zawislak

Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Dr Priscilla Devaseelan

Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

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Patient Testimonials

"Amazing 5-star hospital.  Have had other surgery here before on my back.
Yesterday's was a neck disc replacement operation.  I would highly recommend this hospital like a hotel manner. Thanks again guys." Mr Phillips,
"As hospitals go this one is pretty amazing! Had surgery with Mr Molloy at the end of October and have another one the end of this month. Mr Molloy is a gentleman who puts you at ease right away and ensured my last procedure went smoothly! From start to finish all the hospital staff go above and beyond to make your stay as comfortable and stress free as possible. The facilities are brilliant with the rooms spacious and modern to recover in. Keep up the good work!" Ms Roulston,
"Can’t praise Kingsbridge Private Hospital enough!! I had an operation a couple of weeks ago and I was so well looked after. My surgeon Mr Rashid was fantastic, and the nursing staff was also fabulous. I found they communicated very well to each other, so everyone knew when my meds were due, my allergies etc. They were so kind, so lovely, constantly checked to see how I was i.e. my temperature etc. The food was fabulous and the catering staff very helpful having had an operation were very happy to accommodate ... Thank you to all!" Ms Cheong,
"Currently just back from recovery on the ward. I have just had ACL reconstructive surgery on my left knee. What can I say? This place is brilliant. I arrived at 8.35am, taken to the ward at 8.45am (my admission time was 9am). Tended to by a lovely Nurse. Dr Roger Wilson spoke to me around 9.45am, in Theatre for 10am, recovery for 11.10am and now currently back on ward. These guys are awesome. From the consultant to anaesthetist to nurses to cater assistants. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much. I am so grateful to everyone at Kingsbridge for the service." Mr McNicholl,
"EXCELLENT - Had surgery today under the very caring Dr Stewart and her team. I cannot thank her enough for all she’s done for me over the past few months. Everything was explained to me in detail and all my care was considerate, professional and compassionate. Everyone I’ve met today has been beyond kind from Will the Anaesthetist, the Nurses and theatre staff, the catering staff - there has been no exception. Thank you all for taking care of me so well today - look forward to getting home tomorrow x" Mrs McAleavey,

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