A hysterectomy is surgery to remove the uterus (womb). After a hysterectomy, you will not menstruate (have periods) or be able to get pregnant. Uterus removal is a common treatment for a variety of conditions that affect a woman's reproductive organs.
Types of HysterectomiesThere are several types of hysterectomies. Your healthcare provider will discuss the risks, benefits and potential side effects of each procedure. It's also important to ask your healthcare provider if they are recommending removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes during your hysterectomy. Types of hysterectomies include:
Total hysterectomy removes the entire uterus and the cervix (most common type).
Partial hysterectomy (also called supracervical hysterectomy) removes only the upper part of the uterus, not the cervix (research is ongoing about the risks and benefits of leaving the cervix intact).
Radical hysterectomy removes the uterus, cervix and upper part of the vagina (usually for cancer treatment).
How long does hysterectomy surgery take?Hysterectomy surgery can take between one and four hours. The duration of surgery depends on the type of procedure you have and how it is performed.
Reasons for a HysterectomyThere are a variety of reasons your doctor may recommend a hysterectomy, including:
Gynecologic cancers, including cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix or endometrium
Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
Uterine prolapse, which may be combined with bladder repair