By Dr. Shehrebanu Merchant

What is a Hysterectomy?

A Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus. The ovaries and fallopian tubes may or may not also be removed. After a Hysterectomy, a woman no longer goes through menstruation and can no longer become pregnant.

Why Would I Need One?

A Hysterectomy may be needed for one of the following:

• Uterine fibroids (noncancerous growths on the uterus wall that may cause pain and bleeding)
• Heavy or unusual vaginal bleeding
• Uterine prolapse (when the uterus sinks into the vaginal canal and can sometimes be felt coming out)
• Endometriosis (abnormal growth of the endometrial cells outside of the uterine cavity)
• Adenomyosis (abnormal growth of endometrial cells, cells that line the uterine cavity, in the muscle of the uterus)
• Cancer (or precancer) of the uterus, ovary, cervix, or endometrium (the lining of the uterus)

Hysterectomy Techniques

• Abdominal Hysterectomy
The surgeon removes the uterus through a cut in the lower abdomen. Most women stay in the hospital for 2-3 days.
• Vaginal Hysterectomybr>Removes uterus through vaginal opening. This technique is mostly used to treat uterine prolapse. It also involves the least post-op surgery pain and many women going home the same day or next day.
• Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
In this procedure, the surgeon preforms the surgery by inserting a laparoscope (a small tube with a camera) through a small incision in the bellybutton. The surgeon then makes other small incisions to insert surgical tools to preform hysterectomy. Post-surgery, most women go home or stay overnight.
• Minimally Invasive Robotic Hysterectomy
This procedure uses 3D magnification and robotic technology to preform hysterectomy through small incisions. Robotic surgery increases the precision of laparoscopic hysterectomy through 3D magnification and endo-wrist attached at the end of laparoscopic instruments. Post-surgery, most women go home or stay overnight.

What to expect for post op-recovery?

After an Abdominal Hysterectomy you will stay in recovery for about one to two hours and will most likely have to stay two to three days in the hospital.
For Vaginal and Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, women can go home the same day or stay overnight.
Medication for the pain will be administered and your medical team will encourage movement as soon as you are able.
Bloody vaginal discharge may also occur. This may last from several days to weeks so sanitary pads may be necessary.


A full recovery may take up to 3 to 4 weeks. This also depends on the types of hysterectomy preformed. An Abdominal Hysterectomy has a longer recovery period than Vaginal and Laparoscopic Hysterectomy.
It is important to restrain from lifting anything heavy (over 10-15 pounds) and vaginal intercourse for at least 6 weeks after surgery.

Dr. Merchant is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who has been practicing in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago for the last 27 years.

© Shehrebanu Merchant, MD | 2024 All Rights Reserved.

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