Hysterectomy - Hysterectomy Types
the surgical removal of a woman's
uterus. In some cases, the
ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed during a hysterectomy procedure.
This is called a
There are three
major types of hysterectomy:
- Total hysterectomy is
the surgical removal of the uterus and the
cervix, which is the lower "neck" of the uterus that
opens into the vagina.
- Subtotal hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, leaving the cervix in place.
It is also known as "supracervical" or "partial" hysterectomy.
- Radical hysterectomy is the removal of the
uterus, cervix, ovaries, structures that support the uterus, and sometimes the
lymph nodes. A radical hysterectomy may be done to
endometriosis or cancer of the uterus, ovaries, or
Deciding whether to have a total or subtotal hysterectomy
can be difficult. This is because research that compares the two is limited and
shows only small differences. In the past, experts believed that a subtotal
hysterectomy reduced problems after surgery and prevented problems with urinary
incontinence and/or sexual dysfunction. But research has shown that for certain
conditions, a subtotal hysterectomy does not prevent these problems better than
a total hysterectomy does.1
considering a hysterectomy,
ask your doctor about other treatments for your condition, what hysterectomy
options are available to you, and how well hysterectomy is likely to work for
you. If you have a hysterectomy, the type of procedure you have will depend on
the medical reason for the hysterectomy, the size and position of your uterus,
and your general state of health.
Hysterectomy procedures (how the uterus is removed) include:
- Abdominal hysterectomy.
- Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy
- Laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy
- Total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH).
For more information about procedures, see the
Comparison of Different Hysterectomy Procedures section of