There are three common types of gynaecological surgery, open abdominal surgery, laparoscopic surgery and vaginal surgery.  Each requires slightly different types of anaesthesia.

Abdominal Surgery
For abdominal surgery see our information pages on abdominal surgery.

Laparoscopic Surgery
Laparoscopy involves using a telescope to perform operations on the abdominal organs via key hole surgery.  Many gynaecological procedures can be performed this way and many such procedures can be performed as day cases.  A general anaesthetic is the usual form of anaesthesia and after you are asleep we will insert a soft rubber breathing mask in the back of your mouth for you to breathe air and oxygen through during the procedure.  This breathing mask can often give you a dry or raspy sore throat for up to 24 hours.  We will usually give you a combination of tablets to take prior to the procedure, these are to help with pain and discomfort afterwards.  You will go to sleep with an anaesthetic drip, and we will use this throughout the operation to keep you asleep.  Once the operation is finished, the anaesthetic drip is turned off, and you will wake up very quickly.  Some people can remember the breathing mask being in place as they wake up, do not worry, this is perfectly normal.

If you are going home the same day we will give you a prescription for pain relief to take home with you.  If you are staying in hospital then we will prescribe pain relief and anti nausea medication for the duration of your hospital stay, as well as further medication for you to take home when you are discharged from the hospital.

Vaginal Surgery
This surgery can be either on the tissues of the vagina or it can involve operating on the inside of the uterus using a telescope inserted via the vagina. Most such procedures are performed as day cases, although some large prolapse operations or operations for incontinence may require an overnight stay.

Hysteroscopy is an examination of the cavity of the uterus.  This procedure is carried out using a hysteroscope using a a telescope that is inserted into the uterus via the vagina.. It is usually performed as a day case procedure. This procedure requires a general anaesthetic. Endometrial ablation and Essure sterilisation procedures are also performed using a hysteroscope.  We will use short acting drugs so that you wake up quickly. While you are asleep we will put a soft rubber breathing mask in the back of your mouth so you can breathe air and oxygen. This mask can give you a dry or raspy sore throat for up to a day afterwards. It is common after this procedure to have some crampy pains, similar to period pain. We will give you an anti inflammatory medication as a pre med to help with this pain and you should continue to take this for as long as is required, which is usually 1 to 3 days.

You should not take an anti inflammatory if you have had previous problems with gastric ulcers. If you have had ulcers please let us know so we can prescribe an alternative for you. Similarly you should stop taking anti inflammatories if you notice they are causing stomach upset.

Vaginal repair, prolapse, and urinary incontinence operations can be performed under either a general or a spinal anaesthetic.  We will decide which we think is best suited to each particular case and discuss this with you when we see you prior to your anaesthetic.  A spinal anaesthetic is a simple and straight forward procedure.  It is also a very safe anaesthetic and is ideally suited for older patients, or those patients with significant lung disease.  If you are concerned about being awake during your procedure under a spinal anaesthetic please let us know, we can provide you with intravenous sedation in addition to the spinal anaesthetic.  With such sedation most patients have very little or no recall of any part of the procedure.

If we decide a general anaesthetic is most suited then this will involve some intravenous drugs to make you sleepy, followed by an anaesthetic drip to put you to sleep and to keep you asleep throughout the procedure.  After you are asleep we will insert a soft rubber brething bask into the back of your mouth and give you air and oxygen to breathe through this for the entire operation.  The breathing mask can give you a dry or raspy sore throat for up to a day afterwards.  Once the operation is finished, the anaesthetic drip is turned off and you will wake up very quickly. Some people can remember the breathing mask being in place as they wake up, do not worry, this is perfectly normal.

We will prescribe suitable pain relief and anti nausea medication for you after your operation.