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Abdominal hysterectomy (womb removal) surgery

An abdominal hysterectomy is an operation to surgically remove your womb, which can be used to treat a range of gynaecological conditions

Hysterectomy describes the surgical removal of your womb (also known as your uterus). This is most commonly performed to treat problems that affect the female reproductive system.

There are three main types of hysterectomy operation:

Which type you have will depend on various factors, from your age and weight to the reasons you are having the operation. A hysterectomy will typically be performed by a consultant gynaecologist, who might also be referred to as a gynaecological surgeon.

Gynaecology is the branch of medicine that deals with the female reproductive system.

After having a hysterectomy, you will no longer experience periods or be able to get pregnant. Some women will experience symptoms of the menopause, but not all. It can eliminate chronic pelvic pain, bloating, and heavy bleeding, among other symptoms.

At Circle Health Group, we understand that the reason for undergoing a hysterectomy often causes immense emotional challenges as well as physical, and that the prospect of having a hysterectomy can be unnerving.

Our network of consultant gynaecologists is here to support you emotionally and physically throughout your journey to better health, ensuring you experience outstanding care before, during and after surgery. You will be treated by a consultant-led, multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals who are all committed to delivering excellent, tailored-to-you care that puts your needs first.

On this page, we share more information about having an abdominal hysterectomy. If you have further questions, just give us a call.

The cost of surgery for abdominal hysterectomy with or without ovary removal

Please be aware that the following prices are a guide price. Your final price will be confirmed in writing following your consultation and any necessary diagnostic tests.

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic Investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Guide price
Hospital fees N/A Not included £8,625 Included £8,625
Consultants fees from £200 N/A Included Included £200
Guide price £8,825

You can usually see a consultant gynaecologist for your initial consultation within 48 hours of booking your appointment with us.

At this first appointment, your consultant will ask about your general health and examine your medical history. They will want to know about existing medical conditions you suffer from, as well as the current symptoms you are experiencing. They will also want to know how these symptoms impact your everyday life, how often they occur, and whether you have tried treatment options for them already.

Next, your consultant will gently carry out a physical examination of your pelvis to check for any points of tenderness or visible problems, such as lesions or cysts. If a problem is found, your consultant will organise further testing.

This might include an ultrasound scan, which offers your consultant the best digital view of your reproductive organs. Or you may need to have a laparoscopy, which allows your consultant to look inside your stomach, using a very small camera. The latter procedure is necessary to conclusively diagnose conditions including endometriosis and ovarian cysts. It's a surgical procedure that our gynaecologists perform very regularly at Circle Health Group.

It is important to remember that your initial consultation is a positive step in your journey toward better health. Your consultant is there to answer any questions you might have about your condition(s) and ease any concerns you might experience about undergoing hysterectomy surgery. We understand that making the decision to have a hysterectomy is a major one, and we welcome any questions you might have about the procedure, however trivial they might seem.

The wait between your initial consultation and undergoing treatment depends on your individual circumstances and whether you have been diagnosed with a gynaecological condition. When you go private with Circle health Group, our team will book you in for surgery as soon as is necessary, and we don't cancel or rearrange operations except in extreme circumstances.

After your initial consultation, our multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals will ensure you understand the next steps in your journey and how to prepare for surgery, if needed.

There are several gynaeoclogical conditions that can be treated through an abdominal hysterectomy, including:


Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of your womb (the endometrium) starts to grow in other places in your body, such as your ovaries and fallopian tubes, and around the organs in your pelvis.

Endometriosis affects one in 10 women in the UK. One of the most common issues associated with the condition is that it is difficult to diagnose, taking an average of seven and a half years from when a person first reports their symptoms.

Endometriosis causes severe pelvic pain, pain during sex, and often infertility, as well as many other symptoms.


Adenomyosis is a condition where tissue from the endometrium (lining of your womb) grows deep into the myometrium (the muscle of your uterus). It affects one in 10 women in the UK. Like endometriosis, it can also take years to diagnose. Symptoms of adenomyosis include, but are not limited to, heavy, painful, or irregular periods and severe pelvic pain.

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in your uterus. They can lead to feelings of heaviness and pressure across your pelvic area. If left untreated, uterine fibroids will continue to grow. They can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain.

There are several types of uterine fibroids. Each is determined by its location in your womb. The three main types are:

Intramural fibroids: These grow within the muscle wall of your womb and are the most common type of fibroid.

Subserosal fibroids: These develop on the outside of your womb and can grow into your pelvis.

Submucosal fibroids: These form in the muscle layer that sits beneath the inner lining of your womb.

Most people with uterine fibroids are unaware that they have them. In most cases, this is because they do not produce any symptoms. However, in other cases, uterine fibroids can result in distressing symptoms that can only be alleviated through treatment.

Prolapse of the uterus

This occurs when your uterus slips down from its normal position and bulges into your vagina. It can cause significant pain and discomfort and result in urinary incontinence (leaking urine when you cough, sneeze or exercise). It can also cause discomfort and numbness during sex. A prolapse of the uterus can often occur after you give birth.

Cancer of the womb, ovaries, and cervix

A hysterectomy can treat cancer of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, womb, and cervix. Your treatment will depend on the type of cancer you have, how advanced it is, and your overall health. Other options before hysterectomy include chemotherapy and radiation.

Find out more about hysterectomy for cervical cancer

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

This is a bacterial infection of the female reproductive system. If detected early, it can be effectively treated with antibiotics. If not, it can spread, causing damage to your womb and fallopian tubes, resulting in long-term pain. A hysterectomy to remove your womb and fallopian tubes might be recommended if you experience extreme pain from PID that has not been alleviated through other treatment options.

The above conditions, along with many other gynaecological health problems, don't necessarily mean you need a hysterectomy. Other treatment options might include hormonal or pain medication, heat therapy, pelvic health physiotherapy, or less major surgical options. However, these options do not suit everyone.

A hysterectomy is often recommended when other treatment options have not successfully resolved your gynaecological condition(s).

Depending on your reason for having a hysterectomy, you may need other parts of your reproductive system (such as your ovaries, cervix, or fallopian tubes) removed as well as your womb. You will discuss this thoroughly with your consultant gynaecologist long before surgery, ensuring you know what to expect from your treatment plan.

Remaining generally healthy and fit on the run-up to surgery helps reduce your risk of developing complications from the procedure and speed up your recovery. In preparation for the procedure, we recommend that you:

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose weight (if you are overweight)

You will have blood tests and a general health check with your consultant before surgery to ensure you are healthy enough for the procedure. You will be able to ask your consultant as many questions as you would like about the procedure and how to prepare for it. They will offer tailored advice based on your circumstances.

An abdominal hysterectomy is performed under general anaesthetic, which means you will not be awake during the operation and you won't feel pain. The procedure typically takes between one and two hours to perform.

Your consultant will begin the surgery by making a cut that is approximately 10cm long across your tummy. This will either be along your bikini line, or vertically from your belly button to your bikini line. 

Your consultant will remove your womb using specialist surgical instruments. These organs will be detached from their other ligaments and blood supply and removed from your body. Next, your consultant will close the incision using either specialist glue or staples. Dressing will be applied to your incision to protect it from becoming infected.

Your consultant will ensure you understand the exact technique they will use before your surgery so you can feel prepared.

Will I have my ovaries removed?

A total hysterectomy does not necessarily include the removal of the ovaries. In some instances your consultant will judge that it's better to keep your ovaries. In other cases, and in particular if you are at high risk of certain cancers, your ovaries will be removed during your hysterectomy operation.

The surgical removal of the ovaries is called an oophorectomy.

Recovering in hospital

It is normal to wake up from the procedure with some pain and discomfort in your pelvic area, so please do not be alarmed by this. You will be offered painkillers to reduce these symptoms. You will usually be able to leave hospital between four and five days after surgery.

The day after your operation, a member of your healthcare team will help you get up from bed and take your first gentle steps after surgery to help normalise your blood flow and experience the benefits of some low-impact activity.

Your physiotherapist will begin building your specialist exercise plan to help improve your mobility and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles in aid of a fast and effective recovery. They will show you how to perform these safely and carefully.

Your stitches will be usually removed five to seven days after surgery, unless they are dissolvable stitches, in which case they will disappear naturally over time.

Recovering at home

No recovery period looks the same. Each person experiences recovery differently, depending on several factors, such as:

  • Your physical health
  • Your emotional health
  • The type of procedure you have had
  • Your age

It takes around six to eight weeks to fully recover after having an abdominal hysterectomy. During this time, you should continue to perform the exercises set by your physiotherapist. Rest as much as possible and avoid heavy lifting. Try brisk walks and gentle swimming for exercise but be gentle with yourself as you recover.

Drink plenty of fluids and increase your fibre intake to help with bowel and bladder movements (some people experience constipation after surgery). If you need to take laxatives for your first few bowel movements after surgery in hospital, we will provide these.

If your job does not involve manual work or heavy lifting, you will probably go back to work between four and eight weeks after your operation. Do not drive until you can comfortably wear a seatbelt and safely perform an emergency stop. This can be anything from three to eight weeks after surgery, and it's best to check with your insurance provider as well as your consultant to get advice on when you're ready to drive again.

Expect vaginal discharge

After a hysterectomy, you will experience some vaginal bleeding and discharge that can last up to six weeks. This is normal. Your consultant will explain this to you before surgery so that it isn't a cause for concern during your recovery period.

Expect symptoms associated with the menopause

If your ovaries are removed, you will usually experience menopausal symptoms after your operation. These can include:

  • Sweating
  • Difficult sleeping
  • Hot flushes
  • Low mood and anxiety
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Reduced sex drive

You may be recommended hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after your operation to combat these symptoms. This can be given in the form of an implant, injections, or tablets. Your consultant will talk you through the available options.

It is important to note that risks and complications go hand-in-hand with all surgical procedures, however minor. Your consultant will discuss these risk factors and how likely they are with you to reassure you.

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Sickness
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Unsightly scarring

Specific complications of this operation

  • Damage to internal organs
  • Developing a haematoma
  • Prolapse
  • Continued pain
  • Adhesions
  • Menopause, even if your ovaries are not removed

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations to fit your routine
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and Consultant suit your needs
  • Personalised, Consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Support by the same compassionate clinical team from beginning to end
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to spread the cost of your care

If you would like to learn more about this procedure, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in August 2022. Next review due August 2025.

  1. Abdominal hysterectomy, Mayo Clinic
  2. How it's performed - Hysterectomy, NHS
  3. Abdominal hysterectomy – recovering well patient information leaflet, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  4. Hysterectomy, Cleveland Clinic
  5. Abdominal hysterectomy, NHS University Hospitals Sussex

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