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Abdominal hysterectomy


About abdominal hysterectomy

An abdominal hysterectomy is an operation to remove your womb through a cut in your abdomen (tummy). A abdominal hysterectomy can treat a number of conditions that affect your womb including: 

  • non-cancerous tumours called fibroids
  • endometriosis (where cells that normally line your womb grow outside it)
  • heavy bleeding
  • pain in your pelvis
  • cancer

There are different types of abdominal hysterectomy. In a total abdominal hysterectomy, your surgeon will remove your womb and cervix (neck of your womb). Alternatively, he or she will remove just the upper part of your womb and leave your cervix in place. Or you may have your fallopian tubes and ovaries removed as well as your womb. 

There are also different ways to perform the surgery. You can have an open operation through a single cut in your abdomen. Alternatively you can have keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery.

How can I prepare for my abdominal hysterectomy?

Your surgeon will explain how to prepare and what will happen when you have an abdominal hysterectomy. Your hospital may ask you not to eat or drink anything for a set time before your procedure.

What happens during my abdominal hysterectomy? 

Before the procedure, your surgeon will talk you through the process and ask you to sign a consent form.

An abdominal hysterectomy is usually performed under general anaesthesia. This means you will be asleep during the procedure. However, you may be able to have it under a local anaesthetic. This will numb the area and completely block any pain.

Your surgeon will make a single cut in your abdomen (or cuts if you are having keyhole surgery). He or she will then remove your womb (and cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries if necessary). Your surgeon will then close the cut or cuts with dissolvable stitches.

The procedure usually takes around an hour and you will need to stay in hospital for between two and four days.

Are there any complications or risks of my abdominal hysterectomy?

As with every procedure, there are complications associated with an abdominal hysterectomy. Speak to your surgeon for more information.

Complications of abdominal hysterectomy include an injury to a surrounding organ, such as your bladder or bowel. It's possible you could get a blood clot in your wound, or an infection. 

Recovering from abdominal hysterectomy

You might have some pain and discomfort in your abdomen for a few days or so. You will probably have some bleeding or discharge from your vagina for several weeks too.

It's important to not to lift anything heavy or do any strenuous activity for at least six weeks after your abdominal hysterectomy.

It can take four to six weeks to make a full recovery from abdominal hysterectomy. You may be able to return to work after six to eight weeks but this will depend on the type of job you have. You may be able to drive after three to six weeks.

How much does an abdominal hysterectomy cost?

For a guide to what you could pay for your treatment, click here.

What to do next

Once you have decided that you would like to be treated at an HCA hospital, or would like further information, here's what to do next:

  1. Call one of our advisors on +44 (0) 20 3582 3133 or complete our web enquiry form.
  2. Check with your insurance company that your policy covers your treatment, and obtain authorisation.
  3. Visit or call your GP to obtain a referral letter and then call us to make an appointment to visit your chosen consultant and hospital at a time to suit you.
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