Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, or womb. Depending upon the type of procedure that is performed and the reason for the surgery, hysterectomy may also include removal of the adjacent Fallopian tubes and ovaries. Hysterectomy is the most common major surgical procedure (unrelated to pregnancy) performed on women in the US, with approximately 600,000 hysterectomies performed annually. Because of the advancing development of less invasive treatment options, the incidence of hysterectomy has declined in recent years.
Hysterectomy is a treatment option in the treatment of uterine cancer and cervical cancer as well as for some benign conditions that cause pain and/or severe vaginal bleeding. Fibroid tumors, severe endometriosis, adenomyosis, uterine prolapse, and uncontrollable vaginal bleeding are some benign conditions that have sometimes been treated by hysterectomy.
Different types of surgical procedures are available for a hysterectomy; the choice depends upon the reason for the procedure and the underlying medical condition of the patient. Traditional surgical approaches include both abdominal and vaginal hysterectomies; newer, laparoscopic surgical methods are also available that significantly reduce postoperative discomfort and shorten recovery time.
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