What is a hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus and, sometimes, other parts of the female reproductive system. It may be used to treat cancers of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes and, sometimes, cancer of the vagina that has spread. A hysterectomy is also occasionally used to treat changes in the cells of the cervix that are not cancerous but may develop into cancer.
There are two types of hysterectomy:
- Total hysterectomy – when both the uterus and the cervix are removed
- A radical hysterectomy – when the uterus, the cervix, the tissue surrounding the cervix, the fallopian tubes, the lymph nodes of the pelvis, and, sometimes, the ovaries are removed.
The type of surgery will depend on the kind of cancer you have, its size, and how much it has grown. The operation is performed by a surgeon with expertise in this type of surgery.