A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus. It is a method of treating problems that affect the uterus. Many conditions can be cured with hysterectomy. Because it is major surgery, your doctor may suggest trying other treatments first. For conditions that have not responded to other treatments, a hysterectomy may be the best choice.
Some reasons a hysterectomy may be needed include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Pelvic support problems (such as uterine prolapse)
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
A hysterectomy can be:
- Subtotal (also called partial or supracervical), in which the upper part of the uterus is removed but the cervix is left in place
- Total, in which the entire uterus, including the cervix, is removed
- Radical, in which the entire uterus and support structures around the uterus are removed
A hysterectomy does not include removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
(ACOG. “Hysterectomy.” Medem Medical Library. <http://www.medem.com>.)