Overview

An abdominal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes your uterus through an incision in your lower abdomen. Your uterus — or womb — is where a baby grows if you're pregnant. A partial hysterectomy removes just the uterus, leaving the cervix intact. 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 a total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy (sal-ping-go-o-of-uh-REK-tuh-me).

A hysterectomy can also be performed through an incision in the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy) or by a laparoscopic or robotic surgical approach — which uses long, thin instruments passed through small abdominal incisions.

An abdominal hysterectomy may be recommended over other types of hysterectomy if:

  • You have a large uterus.
  • Your doctor wants to check other pelvic organs for signs of disease.
  • Your surgeon feels it's in your best interest to have an abdominal hysterectomy.

Mayo Clinic's approach