Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about hysterectomy. Learn about the different approaches to the surgery, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
To see how the surgery is done, view our procedure animation below. For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, surgery and recovery.
What is a hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy means removal of the uterus, or womb, and is one of the most common types of elective operations performed on women in Australia. There are several different types of hysterectomy.
Why is it done?
Common reasons include:
- Fibroids (benign tumours, also referred to as myomas)
- Cancer of the cervix, uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes
- Menstrual problems (such as very heavy bleeding or excessive pain)
- Endometriosis (uterine glands that grow in other pelvic tissues)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (chronic infection)
- Uterine prolapse (uterus pushing into the vagina)
Of these, fibroids are the most common reason a hysterectomy is carried out in Australia. Although, there are an increasing number of medical or less invasive surgical options to treat fibroids, as for many of the other conditions.
Sometimes a hysterectomy is the appropriate treatment, but you should be satisfied you’ve fully explored all your options. Your gynaecologist should be able to discuss all the available treatments with you, and give you expert advice on what is right for you.
Where is it done?
A hysterectomy is done in an overnight hospital. You can expect to stay in hospital for about 2-3 days after vaginal hysterectomy and 5-6 days after abdominal surgery.
How long does it take?
It varies considerably, but may take between 1-3 hours.
Who is involved?
- Your gynaecological surgeon
- There may be an assistant surgeon
- Radiologist (if x-rays are necessary)
- Pathologist (if blood tests and/or specimen samples are necessary)
Preparing for surgery
Types of hysterectomy
The different approaches to hysterectomy surgery.
Choosing a specialist
How to find a surgeon who specialises in your procedure.
Questions for your specialist
What you should be asking before going ahead with surgery.
Preparing for your procedure
Pre-operative tests and what to take to hospital..
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