What is a Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, or womb. It is the second most frequently performed surgery among women, after cesarean section (C-section). Depending on the type of hysterectomy performed and the reason it’s being done, removal of the cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes is sometimes performed during the same surgery.

How Many Types of Hysterectomies Are There?

While all hysterectomies remove a woman’s uterus, or womb, there are different types of hysterectomies:

  • A complete or total hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus and the cervix (the opening of the uterus).
  • A partial or supracervical hysterectomy involves the removal of the upper part of the uterus, but not the cervix.
  • A radical hysterectomy involves removal of the cervix, the uterus, the upper part of the vagina, and supporting tissues, including the lymph nodes. This type of hysterectomy is usually performed when cervical cancer is present.
  • A total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy involve a total hysterectomy plus the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, which brings on surgical menopause. If you require this type of surgery, it’s important to talk to your doctor about symptoms of menopause.

How is a Hysterectomy Performed?

There are two main techniques used to perform hysterectomies:

Open technique

A total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) is a complete hysterectomy performed through an incision of approximately five inches in length in the abdominal muscle. After the incision is made, the surgeon cuts through the muscle wall and other connective tissues to reach the uterus.

Minimally invasive techniques

Vaginal hysterectomy – Performed through an incision made at the top of the vagina. Through the incision, all connections between the uterus and the body are cut and tied off. Then the uterus is removed through the vagina.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy – The latest minimally invasive technique utilizes the da Vinci robot.  Da Vinci® surgery is performed using a laparoscopic camera and robotic arms that the surgeon controls according to the images they view on a monitor during surgery. The da Vinci surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and recovery time is significantly reduced. The procedure is performed through small dime-sized incisions made in the abdomen to create passageways for specialized surgical instruments used to perform the procedure. After the uterus is detached, it is removed through the vagina.

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What is Removed During a Hysterectomy?

It depends on the type of hysterectomy, but most commonly the uterus, the cervix, and the fallopian tubes are removed. Less commonly the ovaries are removed, but depends on the conditions being treated. 

What Are the Potential Benefits of a Minimally Invasive Procedure for a Hysterectomy? 

  • Less recovery time
  • Less time in the hospital
  • Less scarring
  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss

Today, there are several kinds of hysterectomy procedures performed. The appropriate surgical option depends on many factors, including the condition being treated. Dr. Coyle will individualize your care to meet your exact needs. Call the team at Coyle Institute to schedule a consultation today!

At Coyle Institute, We Restore Women’s Lives Through Improved Pelvic Health So You Can Focus On What’s Important: Enjoying Your Life and the People You Love.

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