An Overview of Hysterectomy

Angie L. Goeser, PharmD; Matthew J. Hasiak, PharmD; Jared L. Hochstettler, PharmD Candidate


US Pharmacist. 2008;33(9):HS11-HS20. 

In This Article

Types of Hysterectomy and Methods of Hysterectomy

Once an indication is determined, the type of hysterectomy to be performed is selected. There are four types of hysterectomy. Total hysterectomy, in which the entire uterus (including the fundus and the cervix) is removed, is the type most commonly performed. Hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy refers to the removal of both ovaries and the fallopian tubes. In supracervical hysterectomy, the body of the uterus is removed and the cervix is left intact.[18,19] Finally, radical hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, the cervix, the top portion of the vagina, and most of the tissue surrounding the cervix in the pelvic cavity. Pelvic lymph nodes also may be removed during this surgery. Although radical hysterectomy is done relatively rarely, it is usually performed in women with cervical cancer or endometrial cancer that has spread to the cervix.[19]

There are multiple routes by which a hysterectomy can be performed, including abdominal, vaginal, and laparoscopically-assisted approaches. Determination of which method is most appropriate is based on several factors, such as the pathology of the problem, the individual patient's anatomy, patient preference, and physician expertise.[18]


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