Hysterectomy, the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus, may be needed to treat different conditions including gynecologic cancer, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, persistent abnormal or heavy vaginal bleeding, or chronic pelvic pain. During a hysterectomy, the whole uterus or just part of it may be removed, as well as your fallopian tubes and ovaries.
If you have not reached menopause, your physician may recommend that you keep your ovaries. If this is the case, you may enter menopause at an earlier age than normal. If your ovaries are removed, you will enter menopause.
The types of hysterectomy include:
- Partial, or supracervical, where the upper part of the uterus if left
- Total, where the whole uterus and cervix are removed
- Radical, where the whole uterus, the tissue around the cervix and the upper part of the vagina are removed; typically performed if cancer is present.
In some cases, alternatives to surgery may be possible, and our physicians and surgeons will work closely with patients to determine whether hysterectomy is necessary.
Our physicians and surgeons will thoroughly evaluate your particular situation and make a recommendation as to the best method for surgery, which could be:
- An abdominal hysterectomy, which is performed through a 5- to 7-inch incision, or cut, in the lower part of your belly. The cut may go either up and down, or across your belly.
- A vaginal hysterectomy through a cut in the vagina.
- A laparoscopic hysterectomy, which is performed with a thin, lighted tube and small camera that allows your doctor to see your pelvic organs. Your physician will make three to four small cuts in your belly and insert the laparoscope and other instruments.
- A robotic surgery, where your physician uses a di Vinci machine to perform the surgery like laparoscopic surgery.