Hysterectomy

  • Medical Author:

    Dr. Suzanne Trupin is a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. She graduated from Stanford University and completed her medical training at New York Medical in Valhalla, New York. She received her residency training at the University of Southern California Women's Hospital in Los Angeles, California. She is Board-Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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How is a hysterectomy performed?

In the past the most common hysterectomy was done by an incision (cut) through the abdomen (abdominal hysterectomy). Now most surgeries can utilize laparoscopic assisted or vaginal hysterectomies (performed through the vagina rather than through the abdomen) for quicker and easier recovery. The hospital stay generally tends to be longer with an abdominal hysterectomy than with a vaginal hysterectomy, and hospital charges tend to be higher. The procedures seem to take comparable lengths of time (about two hours), unless the uterus is of a very large size, in which case a vaginal hysterectomy may take longer.

What are the types of hysterectomies?

There are now a variety of surgical techniques for performing hysterectomies. The ideal surgical procedure for each woman depends on her particular medical condition. Below, the different types of hysterectomy are discussed with general guidelines about which technique is considered for which type of medical situation. However, the final decision must be made after an individualized discussion between the woman and physician who best understands her individual situation.

Remember, as a general rule, before any type of hysterectomy, women should have the following tests in order to select the optimal procedure:

  1. Complete pelvic exam including manually examining the ovaries and uterus.
  2. Up-to-date Pap smear.
  3. Pelvic ultrasound may be appropriate, depending on what the physician finds on examination.
  4. A decision regarding whether or not to remove the ovaries at the time of hysterectomy.
  5. A complete blood count and an attempt to correct anemia if possible.
Illustration of the Female Reproductive System
Illustration of the Female Reproductive System
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/4/2015

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