Types of Hysterectomies

By on Sep 9, 2015

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the uterus from the body. It is also the 2nd most common surgery for women. This is a serious procedure that is only done if there are not any other options. Patient candidates for a hysterectomy include:

  • Older women who experience menorrhea (excessive bleeding during menstruation)
  • Excessive cramping
  • Long-term pelvic pain
  • Endometriosis
  • Noncancerous fibroids
  • Ovarian or uterine cancer

A hysterectomy is usually a last resort because not only will it prevent you from having children, it may impact your natural hormone production, putting your body through early menopause. Most hysterectomy patients are close to menopause or have already experienced it.

There are multiple kinds of hysterectomies, depending on what organs need to be removed for the medical problem:

  • Total Hysterectomy: removes uterus and cervix
  • Supracervical (partial) hysterectomy: removes upper part of the uterus, leaving the cervix intact
  • Radical hysterectomy: removes uterus and surrounding organs, such as lymph nodes and fatty tissue

Ovaries and fallopian tubes may be removed as well:

  • Oophorectomy: removal of the ovaries
  • Salpingectomy: removal of the fallopian tubes
  • Salpingo-Oophorectomy: removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes

There are three different methods for performing a hysterectomy: abdominally, vaginally, and laparoscopically. Depending on the patient and the type of hysterectomy, your doctor will determine what method is best. However, minimally-invasive options can reduce healing times, post-operative complications, and help the patient feel more like themselves during the recovery process. These minimally-invasive or Laparoscopic hysterectomies, are done by small incisions made in the lower abdomen by a robotic machine that shows the doctor what is happening inside the body. The doctor can then remove the uterus in parts through the small incisions, through a larger abdominal incision, or through the vagina.