What Is a Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is an operation to remove a woman’s uterus (womb). The uterus is where a baby develops when a woman is pregnant. In some cases, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed. These organs are located in a woman’s lower abdomen.

Types Of Hysterectomies: 

  • Complete or total – Removes the cervix as well as the uterus (This is the most common type of hysterectomy)
  • Partial or subtotal – Removes the upper part of the uterus and leaves the cervix in place.
  • Radical – Removes the uterus, the cervix, the upper part of the vagina, and supporting tissues. (This is performed in some cases of cancer.)

Often one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed at the same time a hysterectomy is done.

Hysterectomies Are Used To Treat The Following: 

  • Fibroids – Fibroids are tumors that grow in the uterus (womb). They are benign, which means they are not cancerous, and are made up of muscle fibre. Fibroids can be as small as a pea or can grow as large as a melon. For many women with fibroids, symptoms are minimal and require no treatment. But, in some cases, fibroids can be painful and cause heavy bleeding. More hysterectomies are performed for the removal of fibroids over any other problem of the uterus.
  • Endometriosis – Endometriosis occurs when the tissue lining the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other pelvic or abdominal organs. When medication and surgery do not cure endometriosis, a hysterectomy is typically performed. 
  • Uterine prolapse – Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus moves from its ususal place down in the vagina. This can lead to urinary problems, pelvic pressure, or difficulty with bowel movements. 
  • Cancer – If you have cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovary, a hysterectomy may be part of the treatment.
  • Persistent vaginal bleeding – Persistent vaginal bleeding is heavy periods, irregular periods, or periods lasting for many days each cycle. A procedure called Endometrial Ablation may help to ease symptoms. The procedure consists of a special device using electricity, heat, or cold to stop uterine bleeding. If endometrial ablation or other nonsurgical methods have not helped to control the bleeding, a hysterectomy may become an option.