Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about hysterectomy (removal of the uterus or womb). Learn how the surgery is done, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
To see how this surgery is done, view our 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 your uterus, or womb, and is one of the most common types of elective operations performed on women in Australia.
Why is it done?
Common reasons for your doctor recommending a hysterectomy 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)
- adenomyosis (when the lining of your uterus grows into surrounding muscles)
- pelvic inflammatory disease (chronic infection)
- uterine prolapse (uterus pushing into the vagina).
Some women who carry a gene for breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) elect to have a preventative hysterectomy to lower their cancer risk.
A hysterectomy may well be the best treatment for your problem but make sure you explore other options beforehand. Your gynaecologist should be able to discuss the available treatments with you and give you expert advice on other options.
Where is it done?
A hysterectomy is done in an overnight hospital. You can expect to stay in hospital overnight after a keyhole or vaginal procedure and 1–2 days after abdominal surgery. If you’ve had a hysterectomy because of cancer, your stay may be longer.
How long does it take?
It varies considerably, but may take between 1–3 hours.
- your gynaecologist
- an assistant surgeon
Alternatives to hysterectomy
Options that may be able to delay or replace surgery
Types of hysterectomy and how they’re performed
There are several different ways to perform a hysterectomy
Results vs. risks of the surgery
The benefits and potential complications of surgery
Choosing a specialist
How to find a gynaecologist who specialises in your surgery
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