What happens in a hysterectomy?
There are several types of hysterectomy, the main ones being the partial and the
complete. In a
partial hysterectomy, only the uterus is removed. In a complete or
total hysterectomy, the uterus and cervix are removed, sometimes along
with the fallopian tubes and ovaries. The medical term for removal of the ovaries
A hysterectomy where all these structures are removed is termed a
For a woman who’s premenopausal, a complete hysterectomy will have a significant
impact on hormonal balance because the ovaries are such an important source of hormone
production. Even a partial hysterectomy can have a significant effect, first because
the uterus plays a role in hormonal balance, and second because in most cases the
circulation to the ovaries is impaired enough by the surgery to affect their function.
When a hysterectomy is absolutely necessary, many women choose the latest surgical
laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy. This cutting-edge surgery
is far less invasive than a traditional hysterectomy and does not involve removing
the cervix — and leaving the cervix intact will help support the pelvic floor.
If necessary, one or both ovaries can be removed with much less recovery time. Be
aware that a partial hysterectomy, in strict medical terms, usually involves removal
of the cervix — so you must ask your doctor to keep your cervix intact.
See our full article on hysterectomy
and alternatives for more information on your options.
< Back to hysterectomy FAQ’s.
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