Hysterectomies are relatively common and low-risk, but they carry a big price tag. If your doctor has recommended a hysterectomy, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost.
Amino found that the median network rate for a hysterectomy ranges from $9,388 to $12,713, depending on what type of surgery you have and where you get it done. Keep in mind—this is an estimate for what you and your health insurance company might pay together (combined) for the procedure, not the amount you’ll pay out-of-pocket.
Below, we’ll break down the different types of hysterectomies and how much each costs. You can also use Amino to find an experienced surgeon and estimate your out-of-pocket cost.
Who needs a hysterectomy?
There are many reasons why your doctor may recommend a hysterectomy, including:
- Cervical, uterine, or ovarian cancer
- Chronic pelvic pain caused by endometriosis
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine prolapse
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
If you have any of these issues, see your primary care provider or gynecologist. But keep in mind—having a hysterectomy means you will be unable to get pregnant, so if you want to have children, ask your doctor if they can recommend an alternative to surgery.
Different types of hysterectomies
A hysterectomy is a surgery used to remove part or all of the uterus and reproductive organs. There are three main types of hysterectomies: vaginal, abdominal (with a horizontal or vertical incision), and laparoscopic.
Vaginal hysterectomy — This is a minimally invasive surgery where the uterus is removed through the vagina. The recovery time for a vaginal hysterectomy is generally faster than other methods, and it’s a good option for women who have an average size uterus. Though general anesthesia is common for all hysterectomies, you may be able to get an epidural for a vaginal hysterectomy.
Abdominal hysterectomy — This is the most common type of hysterectomy and is performed through a 5 to 7 inch incision in the lower abdomen. Your surgeon may make a vertical or horizontal incision, depending on the reason for your surgery. Both types of incisions tend to heal well and leave minimal scarring.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy — During this type of hysterectomy, your surgeon will make several small incisions near your belly button and insert a thin tube with a camera (called a laparoscope) that allows them to see the organs they are removing. Laparoscopic hysterectomies tend to have a lower risk of infection and blood loss than abdominal hysterectomies, and the scarring is minimal.
Which type of surgery you need depends on your overall health, the reason for your hysterectomy, and your risk factors. Women who have vaginal and laparoscopic hysterectomies are usually able to leave the hospital the same day, while an abdominal hysterectomy may require a short hospital stay.
Your hysterectomy may also vary depending on how much of your uterus and other reproductive organs are removed. There are generally four different degrees of removal:
- Radical hysterectomy — The entire uterus, cervix, upper vagina, pelvic lymph nodes, and the surrounding tissue are removed.
- Total hysterectomy — The entire uterus and cervix are removed.
- Partial hysterectomy — Only the upper part of the uterus is removed.
- Total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy — The entire uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed.
Radical hysterectomies are fairly rare. Make sure to ask your doctor what’s right for you.
How much does each type of hysterectomy cost?
We found that laparoscopic hysterectomies are generally less expensive than abdominal or vaginal hysterectomies.
Your cost may vary, depending on a number of factors. Here are a few things that could affect how much your surgery costs:
What type of surgery you have will impact your cost, since it will affect how long the surgery takes, what tools are used, and how much anesthesia you’ll need.
Where you live often affects how much your surgery costs, especially since it determines which hospitals and doctors are available to you. For example, if you live in an urban area, you may have more options to choose from.
The network rate, which is what our estimates are based on, is negotiated between your health insurance company and doctor or hospital—so your insurance company and whatever provider you choose will play a large role in determining cost.
Your health insurance plan affects the cost of your surgery for a few reasons. Whether your surgeon is in-network or out-of-network can impact the overall cost. Your co-insurance and co-pay, as well as how much of your deductible you have left, can also make a difference in how much you pay out-of-pocket.
What happens during the procedure, such as what kind of anesthesia you get (and whether your anesthesiologist is in-network or out-of-network), can change the cost. If emergencies arise during surgery, you might have additional unexpected costs.
Your personal health also plays a role in how much your surgery costs. If you go into surgery with preexisting health problems, there could be additional expenses.
Ultimately, the cost of a hysterectomy is determined by many factors. You can use Amino as a guide to help you understand how much it costs in your area, what factors into the total cost, and how much you might pay out-of-pocket—but you should always double check with your doctor and insurance company.
Are there alternatives to a hysterectomy?
Kathy Kelley, founder of the hysterectomy support community HysterSisters, says, “If your doctor suggests a hysterectomy, it’s always good to get a second or third opinion. Doctors tend to specialize in a specific type of hysterectomy, and another doctor could offer you a different treatment—no surgery, a different type of hysterectomy with a shorter recovery time, or peace of mind to help you make your decision.”
Some conditions may be treated with medical management or less permanent procedures. Make sure to ask your doctor about your options.
Will health insurance cover your hysterectomy?
Most insurers will cover a hysterectomy as long as it’s medically necessary and your doctor recommends it. If you don’t have insurance or if your insurance won’t cover your hysterectomy, you may have to pay out-of-pocket.
Most of the cost comes from facility charges, so where you get care (which doctor and facility you go to) can have a big impact on your total cost.
How to get the most for your money
Even if your insurance does cover some or most of your hysterectomy, you’ll likely pay some of the cost out-of-pocket. To make sure you’re getting the most (and best) care for your money:
Ask your insurance company about your costs, like co-insurance, copays, and deductibles.
Utilize your Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), and Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to cover out-of-pocket expenses.
Use Amino to compare prices for different doctors with experience doing abdominal, laparoscopic, and vaginal hysterectomies.
Look into outpatient centers—they often have more affordable surgery options
Have a conversation with your doctor. This is especially important if you don’t have insurance and are paying for your hysterectomy yourself. Some doctors will offer a discount or an interest-free payment plan if they know that you’re shouldering the cost on your own