Abdominal hysterectomy

An operation to remove your uterus

An abdominal hysterectomy is an operation to remove your uterus through a single cut in your abdomen


This operation can treat non-cancerous tumours called fibroids, endometriosis, heavy bleeding, pelvic pain and cancer. Your surgeon may remove your cervix (neck of the womb) too. In some cases they might also need to remove your fallopian tubes and ovaries. The operation usually takes around an hour.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    An abdominal hysterectomy involves a surgeon making a single cut in your abdomen to remove your uterus. Your surgeon will then close the cut using dissolvable stitches. An abdominal hysterectomy is carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you'll be asleep.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your surgeon will explain how to prepare for this operation. They'll also explain exactly what's going to happen during the procedure. You may have to have an enema the day before the operation. And you might be asked not to eat or drink anything for a set time before your procedure. You won't be able to carry out strenuous activities for up to eight weeks after the operation, so you may want to arrange for a friend or relative to help you out at home after your procedure. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You'll need to be cared for in hospital for up to five days after your operation. You may feel pain and discomfort in your abdomen a few days after the operation. And you'll probably experience some bleeding and discharge for a few weeks. You shouldn't lift anything heavy or do any strenuous activity for at least six weeks after an abdominal hysterectomy. You may be able to drive after four weeks. And depending on your job, you could go back to work up to eight weeks after. Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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