A new type of hysterectomy surgery has been found to be safer and more effective than the currently used techniques.

The technique - removing part of the uterus using a keyhole surgery, dubbed the LASH procedure – was more effective at treating heavy menstrual bleeding than the current most common operation, according to the research led by the University of Aberdeen.

Since the mid-1990s when endometrial ablation (destroying the lining of the womb) was discovered as an effective and less invasive alternative, hysterectomy has been considered a last resort for combatting heavy menstrual bleeding, which affects 25% of women in the UK.

However, in recent years, a number of trials comparing traditional hysterectomy and endometrial ablation showed that full removal of the uterus provided greater relief from symptoms but led to more complications.

Now the research, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), has shown that a modified hysterectomy technique where only the body of the uterus is removed (leaving the neck of the womb - the cervix - behind) using keyhole surgery, is as safe as endometrial ablation but much more effective.

Professor Kevin Cooper from the University of Aberdeen, who is also a consultant gynaecologist with NHS Grampian, said that the study shows “LASH offers a more effective option than endometrial ablation, without any increased risks. Most women having this procedure get home within 24 hours and there are no restrictive rules for recovery, unlike traditional hysterectomy. Laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy offers women another effective surgical choice for this common medical condition.”

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the womb (uterus), which means you'll no longer be able to get pregnant after the operation.