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What is Hysterectomy?

  • 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. 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 are frequently treated with hysterectomy.
  • Different types of surgical techniques are available for the performance of a hysterectomy. The choice of which method to use is dependant upon the reason for the procedure and the underlying medical condition of the patient.
  • Traditional surgical approaches include both abdominal and vaginal hysterectomies, as well as newer, laparoscopic and robotic surgical methods, which significantly reduce operative times and diminish post-operative pain.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Hysterectomy:

Hysterectomy - Hysterectomy Post-Procedure

What did you do after your hysterectomy to care for yourself and help heal?

Hysterectomy - Risks and Complications

Did you experience complications from your hysterectomy? Please describe.

Risks of Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy poses some risks of major and minor complications. But most women do not have complications after a hysterectomy.

Some studies have shown complication rates that are about the same for total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH), laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH), and total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH). Your risk of problems after surgery may be higher or lower than average. This may depend in part on how experienced the surgeon is.


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