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What are the Types of Hysterectomy?

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Updated September 08, 2004

Question: What are the Types of Hysterectomy?
Answer: There are three basic types of hysterectomy. These are:

  • Complete or total hysterectomy. This type of hysterectomy removes both the uterus and the cervix. The majority of women undergoing hysterectomy have a complete or total hysterectomy.

  • Partial or subtotal hysterectomy; sometimes called supracervical hysterectomy. This type of hysterectomy removes the upper two-thirds of the uterus and leaves the lower third of the uterus, which is called the cervix, intact. Women who have never had an abnormal Pap smear result may be a candidate for this type of hysterectomy. Some believe a partial or subtotal hysterectomy helps to reduce sex related consequences.

  • Radical hysterectomy. During a radical hysterectomy, the uterus, the cervix, the upper part of the vagina, and supporting tissues are removed. A radical hysterectomy may be necessary in certain cases of cancer.

When both the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed during a hysterectomy, the hysterectomy will be called hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomyis often, routinely, performed in the United States.

Removal of the ovaries before a woman reaches natural menopause often causes induced or surgical menopause.

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