Information about uterine fibroids
Minimally Invasive Therapy Unit & Endoscopy Training Centre
University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Royal Free Hospital
Pond Street
Hampstead
London NW3 2QG, UK

Home

Background information
Treatment options
Treatment summary
Movies
Fibroid Clinic
Knowledge base
Other useful links
Publications
How to find us
Contact us

LATEST NEWS

A new website for gynaecologists interested in the surgical management of fibroids is now on line. www.fibroidsurgery.org

Knowledge base

You may find the following links useful sources of medical information about various common gynaecological conditions including uterine fibroids.

Click on the links below for further information:

Adhesions Infertility
Endometriosis Pelvic pain
Fibroids Pelvic prolapse
Heavy periods Polycystic ovarian syndrome
History

Removal of the uterus (womb) was mentioned as long ago as 5th century BC by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. However, apart from sporadic reports, hysterectomy was not practised until the 19th century. Even then, the mortality of the procedure was extremely high. It was only after improvements in antisepsis, anaesthesia and surgical technique to control haemorrhage in the mid-19th century that hysterectomy became an accepted procedure.

The early hysterectomies were usually done vaginally, but the introduction of subtotal hysterectomy late in the 19th century meant that abdominal hysterectomy became dominant; vaginal hysterectomy tended to be restricted for the management of uterine prolapse.

In 1988, the first laparoscopic hysterectomy was done by Harry Reich (USA). Although the procedure has failed to become popular, one result of this development was the wider appreciation of the role of vaginal hysterectomy. Studies showed that compared with the other routes, vaginal hysterectomy has the shortest operating time, fastest recovery and lowest cost.

Most gynaecologists now agree that vaginal hysterectomy is the optimal route and should be practised whenever possible.