A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman's uterus. The uterus, also known as the womb, is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. The uterine lining is the source of menstrual blood.
You may need a hysterectomy for many reasons. The surgery can be used to treat a number of chronic pain conditions as well as certain types of cancer and infections.
A woman may have a hysterectomy for different reasons, including:
Types of Hysterectomy:
Depending on the reason for the hysterectomy, a surgeon may choose to remove all or only part of the uterus. Patients and health care providers sometimes use these terms inexactly, so it is important to clarify if the cervix and/or ovaries are removed:
In partial or supracervical hysterectomy, the upper portion of the uterus is removed, leaving the cervix intact.
Complete or total hysterectomy involves the removal of both the uterus and the cervix. This is the most common type of hysterectomy performed.
Hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is the removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
Radical hysterectomy is an extensive surgical procedure in which the uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, upper vagina, some surrounding tissue, and lymph nodes are removed.
Hysterectomy Surgical Procedures
Traditionally, hysterectomies have been performed using a technique known as total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH). However, in recent years, two less-invasive procedures have been developed: Vaginal hysterectomy and Laparoscopic hysterectomy:
A hysterectomy is a major decision that you should take after careful consultation with your doctor. You should understand the reason for the operation, the benefits and risks and the alternatives to a hysterectomy. If you are unsure, discuss the issue with your doctor or obtain a second opinion.