All hysterectomies are performed under regional or general anesthesia in a
hospital operating room.
A number of different procedures for hysterectomy are used. Some require
standard surgical incisions while others are performed primarily via laparoscopy
with small abdominal incisions for instruments.
- Total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) is the removal of the uterus and cervix
through an abdominal incision that is 6-8 inches in length.
- Supracervical or subtotal hysterectomy is removal of the uterus while
sparing the cervix (the opening of the uterus into the vaginal or birth canal).
This can be done laparoscopically or via standard surgical incisions.
- Radical hysterectomy is used in the treatment of cancer and includes
removal of some surrounding tissues. This is performed via an abdominal
- Vaginal hysterectomy is removal of the uterus and the cervix through the
vagina. This procedure involves an incision in the upper vagina.
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy (LH) involves removal of the uterus by
laparoscopic (minimally invasive) techniques. This procedure requires several
tiny incisions below the area of the navel for insertion of the viewing
laparoscope and the surgical instruments. In order for the surgeon to observe
the inside of the body clearly, the peritoneal cavity is inflated with a gas
(usually carbon dioxide). The uterus is then either extracted vaginally or
through the small abdominal incisions by division into smaller pieces.
- Laparoscopy-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) is vaginal hysterectomy
with the assistance of laparoscopic techniques as described above.
- Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the ovary(s); salpingo-oophorectomy is
the removal of the ovary(s) and the Fallopian tube(s). These procedures may be
performed at the same time as hysterectomy in some cases.
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