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Myomectomy—Open Surgery

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Myomectomy—Open Surgery

(Fibroid Tumor Removal; Uterine Fibroid Removal)


Myomectomy is surgery to remove fibroids from the wall of the uterus. Fibroids are noncancerous tumors. An open surgery removes the fibroids through a large cut.

Uterine Fibroid

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Reasons for Procedure

This procedure is done to ease problems caused by fibroids without removing the uterus with a hysterectomy. These problems may be:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Back pain
  • Pressure on the bladder
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Heavy periods
  • Problems becoming pregnant
  • Pain during sex

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Fibroids that return
  • Damage to other organs
  • Severe scarring, resulting in pain, bowel blockage, or infertility
  • Uterine wall weakness
  • The need for special care in pregnancy, such delivery by cesarean section

Things that may raise the risk of these problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking excess alcohol
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:

  • Anesthesia options
  • Any allergies you may have
  • Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
  • Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
  • Arranging for a ride to and from surgery
  • Tests that will need to be done before surgery, such as images of the pelvic organs


General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep.

Description of the Procedure

A large cut will be made in the lower belly. Muscles will be separated and tissue will be cut to expose the uterus. Next, the fibroids will be removed. Each layer of tissue in the uterus will be stitched. The belly opening will be closed with stitches. A bandage will be placed over the area.

How Long Will It Take?

1 to 2 hours

Will It Hurt?

Pain, vaginal discharge, and bleeding are common in the first few days. Medicine and home care can help.

Average Hospital Stay

Most people can go home in 2 to 3 days. If there are any problems, you may need to stay longer.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital

Right after the procedure, the staff may:

  • Give you pain medicine
  • Encourage you to walk

During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection, such as:

  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing gloves or masks
  • Keeping your wound covered

There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection, such as:

  • Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and staff to do the same
  • Reminding staff to wear gloves or masks
  • Not letting others touch your wound

At Home

It will take up to 6 weeks to fully heal. Physical activity will be limited during this time. Sex will need to be avoided until the doctor says it is safe. Ask for help with daily activities and delay your return to work.

Problems to Look Out For

Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the wound
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medicine you have been given
  • Vaginal bleeding that soaks more than one pad per hour
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • Swelling, redness, or pain in the legs
  • Pain, burning, urgency or frequency of urination, or blood in the urine
  • New or worsening symptoms

If you think you are having an emergency, call for medical help right away.





  • Uterine fibroids. Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology website. Available at:
  • Uterine leiomyoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.