Abdominal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes your uterus through an incision in your lower abdomen. A partial hysterectomy removes just the uterus, and a total hysterectomy removes the uterus and the cervix.
Sometimes a hysterectomy includes removal of one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes, a procedure called total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy. A hysterectomy can also be performed through an incision in the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy) or by a laparoscopic or robotic surgical approach.
The abdominal hysterectomy may be recommended over other types of hysterectomy if you have a large uterus or if your doctor wants to check other pelvic organs for signs of disease. Our physicians at The Women’s Specialists are board certified and have performed over a combined 1,000 hysterectomies over the last decade in private practice.
Hysterectomy is generally very safe, but with any major surgery comes the risk of complications. Risks associated with abdominal hysterectomy include:
- Blood clots
- Excessive bleeding
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Damage to your urinary tract, bladder, rectum or other pelvic structures during surgery, which may require further surgical repair
- Earlier onset of menopause even if the ovaries aren’t removed
- Rarely, death
It takes time to get back to your usual self after an abdominal hysterectomy — about six weeks for most women. During that time:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Don’t lift anything heavy for a full six weeks after the operation.
- Stay active after your surgery, but avoid strenuous physical activity for the first six weeks.
- Wait six weeks to resume sexual activity.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations about returning to your other normal activities.