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Is CT Scan of the abdomen recommended prior to total hysterectomy

sabina57's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

Does anyone know if a CT scan of the abdomen is routine prior to surgery? My surgeon didn't mention the need for it but I think I'm going to persist. A) I've always had tummy problems and B) I've read that in some cases, cancer was discovered in the abdomen after surgery. I'm also going to start a new post on the emotional roller coaster.

Many thanks and best of luck to all

Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2010

I had one prior to my surgery. I think the doctor wanted an idea of what he was going to find before hand. He told me right before they put me under that the scan was good and they had found nothing so that eased my mind a bit at the time.

sabina57's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you. If the doctor doesn't mention it, I'm going to. I want my mind at ease.


jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

Had D&C with scope which detected fibroid tumor, then to path for diagnosis of cancer. Scheduled total hysterectomy with no mention of CT scan. Only cancer found was obviously in uterus, plus 1 pelvic lymph node.

Interesting as never thoughts of CT scan. My thoughts, never hurts does it? If you feel better and doc doesn't think necessary, try to him for approval to ease your mind.


txtrisha55's picture
Posts: 686
Joined: Apr 2011

I had the D&C with Scope done which pathology found cancer cells. GYN ONC Dr did not request CT prior. She did a complete abdominal hysterectomy and exploratory surgery, took 4 hours to complete. She told me after that it looked like no other organs were concerned and it looked like the tumor was confined to just the uterus. Good News until the pathology report stated that 1 pelvic lymph node had two microscopic cells. Stage 3C1 MMMT cancer. Kinda wished they had done the CT scan first but all indications is that they got all of it.

CindyGSD's picture
Posts: 191
Joined: Aug 2011

I had a CT scan, an MRI and an ultra sound, all prior to surgery but my situation might be a little different. I had severe bleeding that landed me in the emergency room. Two pints of blood later, I was admitted to the hospital and had surgery 3 days later and that was only because the bleeding had slowed down, otherwise they would have a wheeled me right in to the operating room.

I don't know what the standard protocol is but they should be able to give you a reason.

Take care,

Kaleena's picture
Posts: 2023
Joined: Nov 2009


I was to get a total hysterctomy due to severe endometriosis. I had asked if I should have any type of scans and was told no because it would only show the scar tissue and besides I had a laparoscopy and an internal ultrasound which didn't show much. I did have the surgery and when I went back for my one week follow-up visit I was told that they found cancer and therefore had to have another surgery for staging! The docs were surprised. I knew I should had a scan prior. It may have saved me from the additional surgery.

My best to you.


lkchapman's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Sabina,
I had an abdominal ct before surgery. My doctor said he wanted to be thorough. I ended up having a lung ct the day before surgery because my chest x-ray showed a nodule. My doctor wasn't going to go through with my surgery if the lung scan was positive. If your abdominal scan indicates there are extensive metastasis surgery wouldn't be the first option. I would definitely insist on a ct if you already have confirmed uterine cancer.
Good luck and I hope everything goes uneventfully.

sabina57's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

thanks all,

I do have confirmed uterine cancer. There is no doubt, I will insist on the CT scan of my abdomen. I strongly believe that we as patients must take charge of our health. Medical oversights happen everyday. The fact that this inner voice is telling me that I should get one done is enough of a reason for me to insist on getting one done. That gut feeling that won't leave me is for a reason. Hopefully the results will be negative but I'd hate to not have it done and look back and say "I should have listened to that voice"!


snowbird_11's picture
Posts: 160
Joined: Oct 2011

I had a PET/CT prior to surgery but it was ordered as part of staging for my med onc's insistence that my issues were a second breast cancer recurrence. Not a whole lot showed up on scan but at least hot spot in spleen area gave gyn onc a heads up that I had a fair amount of mets - never really showed anything in regard to all the tumors scattered through pelvis / abdomen. Scans don't show everything and the surgeon will get actual visual when he does surgery. However it could ease your mind to know that all looks good.

Ro10's picture
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

No one recommended a CAT scan prior to my hysterectomy. I had no symptoms, only
Y an abnormal PAP test. Wishing you the best results from your surgery.

daisy366's picture
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Sabina, I DID have CT prior because I was admitted to hospital with intractable pain. CT showed tumor....beginning of story 3 years ago.

I think it's good to get baseline tests. However, tests are not benign - CT scans have lots of radiation. You will have some scans after surgery for sure. Do you need them before? Maybe not. How much exposure to radiation do you want? This is good discussion for you and your doc - what tests, why, and when.

Best to you. Mary Ann

sabina57's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

Maryann you raise a good point with radiation. I'm having laproscopic surgery for a total hysterectomy. The doctor said one of the incisions will be made at my belly button. That's a very sensitive area for me. I also have fibromyalgia and so any pressure can cause pain. It's more to put my mind at ease to know that there is no tumor in my stomach; it is a good discussion for me to have with my doctor.


daisy366's picture
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

you mention laproscopic. There is so much that we have to deal with early on - that I, for one, did not question much (or anything). In retrospect I was extremely fortunate that my doctors did everything right from what I have learned in the last 3 years. I preface the following unsolicited information with this and my best intentions.

Recently (last day or so) I read here about advantages of regular surgery over laproscopic ( not sure which thread, I think JoAnnDK posted it). If you have not already done so, you might want to discuss pros and cons of each surgery with your doctor.

Please have a gynecologic oncologist do surgery and request a functional profile of your tissue.

The best to you. Mary Ann

Posts: 571
Joined: Oct 2009

I had a chest x ray and a CT scan prior to surgery. In the chest xray they found a spot which I still have an MRI annually. The spot they think may be a scar from pneumonia at some point. CT scan is standard protocol at the University I went to.

Gracegoi's picture
Posts: 59
Joined: Aug 2011

No CT or CA125 tests prior to surgery. I had a chest exray. I had UPSC and the full monty!

Have the reverse questionmark to prove it.

I asked for a CT after surgery and they found tiny liver lesions.

I believe the thread Mary Ann was thinking about was this one


good for you to think about all angles.


Posts: 20
Joined: Nov 2011

I have also had stomach problems much of my adult life. Starting 30 years ago. That is when I started having severe migraines and have been on migraine meds and other meds for 30 years. I know the meds did a number on my stomach. I have just been diagnosed. See dr. on Tuesday. Blessings to all

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2015

I am due to have total hysterectomy due to uterine cancer 6/30 . My doctor ordered a CAT scan but my insurance co denied it even after speaking to dr . I Was feeling a little more positive today until I heard this news - other than the insurance co changing their mind which I doubt or paying for it ourselves should I worry my self sick

Posts: 1494
Joined: Jun 2012

I didn't have one till right after all treatment ( surgery, chemo, brachytherapy) was completed

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2775
Joined: Mar 2013

I was not a member when this thread was started.  It is all over the board for the answer to the question.  Smudgie123 do you have a gynecologic oncologist?  I would ask the doctor why they said no and follow up with the insurer myself.  Don't be afraid to ask the insurance company for your own answers

Virgil90012's picture
Posts: 34
Joined: Feb 2015

i too had an ultrasound, chest X-ray, CA125 blood test, and CT scan done before my laparoscopic total hysterectomy.  My Gyne-Oncologist used them to collect information.  Other than the CA 125 test being slightly high and the CT scan identifying the uterine tumor, everything else seemed fine.  After surgery, I was diagnosed with the garden variety uterine cancer Stage 1a grade 2.   That was 7 months ago and I know this sounds strange but every once in a while when I need reassurance, I read the report again to confirm that nothing else was found.  I don't understand why your insurance would deny the scan because my doctor from the City of Hope made it sound that he always has his patients get a CT scan prior to surgery.  I agree with everyone that has responded that you should find out from the insurance for the denial. Good Luck

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
Posts: 1675
Joined: Jun 2015


I just had a CT / PET scan yesterday.  This is the first test for me (except blood test) since having the D&C.  Even before having a surgeon identified.  My local Oncologist ordered it.

My insurance covered it without question and the Cancer Center told me they normally don't push back because they know we need a baseline.

I would contact your insurance company directly and push them.

Good luck and don't be afraid to fight for yourself!



Sandy3185's picture
Posts: 228
Joined: Oct 2013

i did have a CT scan before my surgery and have had several since. My doctor felt that it would give him a clearer picture of what was going on. CT scans are an important tool when fighting cancer and I can't imagine how your insurance co can justify not allowing your scan! This thread started several years ago when it was not quite as common but I think that scans are now an accepted tool in the diagnosis and treatment of uterine cancer and it's possible metastities. I would continue to push for the scan.  Sandy

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