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How is a hysterectomy performed?

In the past the most common hysterectomy was done by an incision (cut) through the abdomen (abdominal hysterectomy). Now most surgeries can utilize laparoscopic assisted or vaginal hysterectomies (performed through the vagina rather than through the abdomen) for quicker and easier recovery. The hospital stay generally tends to be longer with an abdominal hysterectomy than with a vaginal hysterectomy, and hospital charges tend to be higher. The procedures seem to take comparable lengths of time (about two hours), unless the uterus is of a very large size, in which case a vaginal hysterectomy may take longer.

Return to Hysterectomy

See what others are saying

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 19

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy after just over a year of treatment with a Mirena for heavy periods and anemia. After one year with the Mirena I was diagnosed with a large fibroid and due to the other side effects of the Mirena I opted for the hysterectomy. The Mirena helped with the heavy periods but I still lived with constant bloating and pressure. I can't prove it but I believe the fibroid developed because of the Mirena. I had an ultrasound 1 year ago and there was nothing. Then, after having the Mirena for a year the fibroid was the size of a lemon. I am just happy now to have it all gone.

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Comment from: Karen, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I have good health insurance. November 2013 I had a malignant stage 0 breast lumpectomy and was prescribed tamoxifen for 5 years to prevent a recurrence of the breast cancer. In July 2015 I reported vaginal spotting to my oncologist. She reassured me that this was a side effect of the tamoxifen. In September 2015 I reported the spotting to my primary, he said if your oncologist is not concerned I should not be either. I said no way a 75 year old should be spotting and I detected an odor. As I insisted, he put in an order and on November 4 I saw the gynecologist. She did a vaginal exam, found a polyp and removed it and also did a biopsy. She felt that may have been the source of the bleeding and was surprised when the results on November 11 showed cancer of the uterus. She ordered a CT scan which also showed very small spots in the bottom of my lung. I was referred to a surgeon for a hysterectomy. He notified my oncologist of the diagnosis, she called and had an MRI ordered and set up an appointment for me to go to her office. The surgeon ordered PET scan from head to toe to see if there was any other cancer. Thank goodness nothing else lit up in the scan. The surgeon did a laparoscopic hysterectomy removing tubes, ovaries and lymph nodes. The surgery took under 3 hours. I was walking in 20 hours. I was home the next evening after surgery. I was sleeping a lot the first three days with some nausea and gas pains, feeling pressure when bladder fills up but able to relieve that. On fourth day I was feeling more clear-headed. I am walking 5 minutes 6 times a day and will try to increase that tomorrow. Great to know I have concerned friends calling and sending cards. Husband is a saint.

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Comment from: caz2star, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 11

I had a hysterectomy on the 6th January. I wonder if it is normal to get stomach contractions while you are healing in side.

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