• Jodi Keane


Updated: May 10, 2019

For some problems, surgery is the only answer and for others it is recommended if other treatments do not work.

You will be given full information about your proposed procedure, the reasons for the operation and the risks and benefits where they apply to you and helpful resources to read. Although it is normal to feel anxious about surgery, it is important to remember that surgery is very safe and the absolute risks are small.

Your operation may be completed in one of a number of ways depending on the problem being treated, your other medical history, clinical factors and your preference and includes keyhole (laparoscopic), with a cut on the abdomen (open), vaginally with no outside cuts or other methods including hysteroscopic (within the womb)


Keyhole operations are increasingly common for many gynaecological problems. They have several advantages over traditional surgery (with a cut on the abdomen) including minimal down time and quicker recovery, less scarring, intraoperative magnification of the area of interest and other technical advantages but they are also not always suitable for every woman and every problem.

Having said this most women are suitable for a keyhole operation and this is a good option due to its advantages. In general if you are suitable for either a keyhole operation or traditional surgery, a keyhole procedure is recommended. Usually special preparation such as bowel preparation is not necessary and you can resume gentle activities as soon as you are comfortable after your operation although it is important to remember that you have had surgery and should follow your recovery instructions to minimise the risk of complications- this particularly applies to heavy lifting, sport and sexual activity.


Surgery through a cut on the abdomen, usually at the bikini line, is a method of performing surgery that has the most history in gynaecology. It is required where keyhole is not possible or an operation that has already started cannot be completed keyhole.

Most women will initially have a catheter in the bladder, and get out of bed the first day after the surgery and mobility and pain will improve steadily. Your diet will be started gently as there is a higher chance of early nausea and vomiting if a large volume of food is consumed and the bowels have not begun digesting normally. It is common to be well enough to go home on around day 3 after the operation and it is important to take the recommended amount of time off of work to allow proper healing.


Vaginal operations can be performed in many women who have given birth vaginally. particularly to treat prolapse. These operations leave no external cuts and also have a quicker recovery. You will usually have a pack and catheter in the vagina and bladder when you wake up and both of these will be removed the morning after your operation.


Problems on the inside of the womb can be treated via a small camera threaded through the opening of the womb. This surgery has very little downtime apart from 24 hours of rest due to general anaesthetic and initial cramps and light vaginal bleeding.

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