This sheet is aimed at those women having urogynaecological operations. You will also be given a booklet on general advice and information about the gynaecology ward.

You will have signed a consent form before your operation.  Please make sure that you have understood the consent form and your proposed surgery.  If there is anything you are uncertain of, please ask a member of the team. It is very important to us that you understand the nature of surgery, the risks and benefits, and the anticipated follow-up, before agreeing to an operation.

Prior to your operation, you will see a nurse at a “pre-assessment appointment”.  Please inform the nurse of any medical conditions you have as this may affect the preparation required for your operation.  Please bring all your medications with you to this appointment, and make sure you know which medications to stop before surgery.  Some women will need to have some special medicine to help empty their bowels the day before surgery.

You may have to wait in a waiting area before your hospital bed is available. You will see your operating team before your operation.  If there is anything that needs clarifying please ask, although we advise that you make sure you are clear about the proposed surgery at the time of signing your consent in the clinic.

This table below summarises how long you can expect to typically stay in hospital following your surgery.  If you are uncertain of which operation you are having, please look at your copy of your consent form.



Typical length of stay in hospital


 Day case / 1 night


 Basic Laparoscopy

 Mid-urethral tape (“TVT”, “TVT-O”, “TOT”)

 Bladder botox injections

 Bladder neck injectables

 Insertion of suprapubic catheter

 Anterior vaginal wall repair

 1-2 nights

 Posterior vaginal wall repair

 Repair of perineum

 Combined complex vaginal wall repair

 2-3 nights

 Laparoscopic hysterectomy

 Laparoscopic colposuspension

 Laparoscopic uterine suspension

 Laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy

 Vaginal hysterectomy

 2-4 nights

Abdominal hysterectomy

3-5 nights

You will be seen daily following your operation by the doctors and nurses. Your operating team will discuss the operation with you.  If there is something you are unclear about, please feel free to ask.

During most operations you will have a catheter (a tube that drains your bladder) inserted.  This is generally removed after one or two nights.  If your bladder does not empty satisfactorily, you may need to go home with a catheter. The catheter is attached to a leg-bag in the day which means that you can be mobile.  If you do go home with a catheter, generally you will return one week later to have the catheter removed. A further assessment will be made to see whether your bladder is able to empty properly at that point. Occasionally after an operation we suggest that a catheter is left in for 5-10 days.

At the end of many operations, you may have a bandage inserted into the vagina. This is often put in to help stop any small bleeding areas noticed at the time of surgery. This is usually removed the following morning after surgery.

Depending on your operation and dependent on your needs, you may be sent home with some painkillers, some preparations to help open your bowels, and some oestrogen cream to be put inside the vagina which assists the area recover following surgery.  We may advise that you visit your GP after 5-7 days to have stitches removed.

We would generally recommend that you take a relatively light and healthy diet for the first few days following surgery. After most operations for bladder problems and prolapse, we would ask you to avoid lifting (nothing more than a full kettle) for around six weeks. Please make sure that you understand the follow up arrangements following surgery and that you have our contact details before leaving hospital.  Please ask any member of the medical or nursing team if things are not clear.

After surgery, you should allow yourself appropriate recovery time. Ask your team how long they anticipate your recovery should take.  This often serves as a useful guide. Remember for some days following surgery, even relatively simple physical activities may make you tired. This may persist for a few weeks if you have had major surgery.

After most vaginal operations a small amount of bleeding or vaginal discharge is common.  You may get some discomfort passing urine or a slightly offensive discharge.  If these persist you may need some antibiotics from your GP. Potential concerning things to look out for are high fevers, severe abdominal pain not responding to painkillers and rest, vomiting and heavy vaginal bleeding.  If you are worried after your discharge from hospital prior to a follow-up appointment, you can contact the urogynaecology nursing team (Mon-Fri 9-5pm), or your GP.  If you have significant concerns, you should go to A&E (preferably UCLH).

Your follow–up will depend on your operation and medical condition.  This may take the form of a phone call or a clinic appointment to see the urogynaecology nurses or doctors. If you are worried that you have not received some results following your operation, please contact us.

 Useful contact numbers  

Queries about clinic appointments

020 3447 8695

Urogynaecology Nursing enquiries

07951 674 140 or email:

UCLH general switchboard

020 3456 7890