Hysterectomy is considered a relatively safe and low risk surgery
Hysterectomy is a very common surgery. The relief of unpleasant symptoms can have a positive effect on your enjoyment of life but the emotional effects vary. Some women report enhanced sexual pleasure after hysterectomy. Others say they feel a sense of loss and low mood from losing their fertility.
12 months after a hysterectomy, 96% of women report that the procedure has completely or mostly resolved the problem or symptoms. 94% report that the results were better than, or as good as they expected; 86% report that their health is better and 88% report being totally recovered.
Hysterectomy performed for endometriosis has variable results. 15% of women who have a hysterectomy for endometriosis, still have pain afterwards. Removing your ovaries at the time of the hysterectomy lowers your risk of persistent symptoms. This is probably because it reduces the level of oestrogen, a hormone which can stimulate the production of endometriosis lesions.
As with any medical procedure there are some potential risks. The chance of complications depends on the exact type of procedure that you’re having and other factors including your general health. Complications are more common with abdominal hysterectomy.
Common conditions that may affect your outcome include diabetes, obesity and infection. Smokers are also at a higher risk of complications following surgery. You won’t be able to smoke during your hospital stay so this could be a good opportunity to quit.
The most common complications of hysterectomy are:
- Fever and infection
- Heavy bleeding during or after surgery
- Injury to your urinary tract
- Bowel blockage
- Blood clots in your the leg that can travel to your lungs
- Blood clot in the wound
- Breathing or heart problems related to anaesthesia
- Short-term constipation
- Vaginal prolapse
- Emotional reactions
- Early menopause (if your ovaries are removed)
Some complications don’t show up until some days, weeks, or even years after surgery.