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(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 1 week before the procedure.
- 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
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 09/2015
- Update Date: 09/30/2014