Gynaecological Services

Hysterectomy (abdominal or vaginal)

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy, also called uterus removal surgery, is a surgical procedure that is performed in order to remove the uterus. The uterus is also called the womb and is where the baby grows when a woman is pregnant. A hysterectomy can be performed for a number of reasons, including:

  • Severe fibroids
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Cancer (in the uterus, cervix or ovaries)
  • Severe endometriosis
  • Severe pelvic pain
  • Severe and abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Adenomyosis, when the lining tissue of the uterus grows inside the walls of the uterus.

What types of hysterectomy are there?

There are several types of hysterectomy. These include:

  • Supracervical / subtotal hysterectomy – This is the surgical removal of the upper part of the uterus, and the cervix is left in place. The ovaries may or may not be removed, depending on the condition.
  • Total hysterectomy – This is the common type of hysterectomy which involves the removal of the entire uterus and cervix. The ovaries and the fallopian tubes may also be removed depending on the patient’s condition.
  • Radical hysterectomy – This is a type of hysterectomy where the entire uterus is removed, as well as the tissue on the sides of the uterus, the cervix and the top section of the vagina. Radical hysterectomy is normally indicated to treat certain types of cancer, like cervical cancer.

What techniques are used?

There are two main techniques used to perform this procedure. They are:

  1. Open surgery
    The surgeon makes an incision in the lower abdomen and removes the uterus.
  2. Minimally invasive surgery
    This includes the following options:
    • Vaginal hysterectomy - The surgeon makes an incision in the vagina and removes the uterus through this incision.
    • Laparoscopic hysterectomy - The surgeon uses a laparoscope to remove the uterus through a small incision in the belly button.

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Tebogo, mom and dad