Hysterectomy

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.

Cost indicator

Discover the typical out-of-pocket costs HCF members can expect to pay for a hysterectomy, and learn how your choice of doctor and hospital affect that cost.

Abdominal hysterectomy

Vaginal hysterectomy

Laparoscopic hysterectomy

Learn about hysterectomy

This short animation shows how the different approaches to hysterectomy work. See how the uterus (and, if necessary, the ovaries and fallopian tubes) are accessed and removed. 

The basics

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
  • Anaesthetist
  • Nurses
  • Radiologist (if x-rays are necessary)
  • Pathologist (if blood tests and/or specimen samples are necessary)

The details

Preparing for surgery

Types of hysterectomy

The different approaches to hysterectomy surgery.
Learn more

Choosing a specialist

How to find a surgeon who specialises in your procedure.
Learn more

Questions for your specialist

What you should be asking before going ahead with surgery.
Learn more

Preparing for your procedure

Pre-operative tests and what to take to hospital..
Learn more

Surgery and aftercare

Going to hospital

What to expect on the day of your procedure.
Learn more

Your procedure

What happens in the operating theatre.
Learn more

Afterwards

Your hospital stay and recovery.
Learn more

Patient experiences

HCF members who've had hysterectomy talk about their preparation, hospital stay and recovery.

View videos

Give us feedback

Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know what you liked or what we can do to improve it. We'd love to hear from you.

To provide feedback, email us at wellbeing@hcf.com.au.

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Important information

Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.