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Abdominal Hysterectomy


An abdominal hysterectomy (AH) is surgery to remove your uterus. Your uterus will be removed through an incision in your abdomen. You may need an AH if you have a tumor in your uterus or other reproductive organs. You may also need an AH if you have an infection, pain, or bleeding.



  • Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.
  • Blood thinners help prevent blood clots. Blood thinners may be given before, during, and after a surgery or procedure. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or gynecologist as directed:

Ask how to care for your wound. You may need blood tests, x-rays, or ultrasounds at your follow-up visits. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Limit activity until you have fully recovered from surgery:

  • Ask when it is safe for you to drive, walk up stairs, lift heavy objects, and have sex.
  • Ask when it is okay to exercise, and what types of exercise to do. Start slowly and do more as you get stronger.

Contact your primary healthcare provider or gynecologist if:

  • You have heavy vaginal bleeding that fills 1 or more sanitary pads in 1 hour.
  • Your wound opens.
  • You have a fever, and your wound is red and swollen.
  • You have yellow, green, or bad-smelling discharge coming from your vagina.
  • You feel new pain or fullness in your vagina.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery, medicine, or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have new or more blood from your vagina or your wound.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
  • You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Abdominal Hysterectomy (Discharge Care)

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