(Surgical Removal of the Uterus [or Womb]; Abdominal Hysterectomy)
- Supracervical hysterectomy—removal of the uterus only
- Total hysterectomy—removal of the uterus and cervix (the opening of the uterus leading to the vagina)
- Radical hysterectomy—removal of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, upper part of the vagina, and the pelvic lymph nodes
- Salpingo-oophorectomy —removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes (may be combined with any of the above procedures)
Reasons for Procedure
- Treat cancers such as uterine , endometrial, and ovarian cancers
- Remove uterine fibroids
- Treat chronic pelvic pain
- Treat heavy bleeding
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Injured pelvic organs—bowel and/or bladder
- Urinary incontinence—problems controlling your urine
- Loss of ovarian function and early menopause
- Sexual dysfunction
- Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
- Previous pelvic surgery or serious infection
- Use of certain medications
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Blood and urine tests
- Pap smear
- X-ray of abdomen and kidneys—a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body
- Pelvic ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves to show organs in the abdomen
- Dilation and curettage (D&C)—surgical removal of tissue from the lining of the uterus
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- Blood thinners
- Anti-platelet medications
- Arrange for a ride home and for help at home.
- Eat a light meal the night before the surgery. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
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Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- On the first night, the nurse will help you sit up and walk.
- During the next morning, the IV will be removed if you are eating and drinking well.
- You may need to wear special stockings or boots to help prevent blood clots.
- You may have a Foley catheter for a short time to help you urinate.
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incisions
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables .
- Ask your doctor if you should do Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, leakage, or any discharge from the incision sites
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Heavy bleeding
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Pain, burning, urgency or frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
- Swelling, redness, or pain in your leg
American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Canadian Medical Association http://www.cma.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Hysterectomy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq008.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20120815T1040007858. Published August 2011. Accessed January 7, 2014.
Hysterectomy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 19, 2013. Accessed January 7, 2014.
Laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy. Shawnee Mission Medical Center website. Available at: http://videocenter.shawneemission.org/videos/laparoscopic-supracervical-hysterectomy. Accessed January 7, 2014.
The treatment: robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy. UC Davis Health System website. Available at: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/obgyn/specialties/robotic%5Fsurgery/hysterectomy.html. Accessed January 7, 2014.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 00/12/2014 -