Key Differences Between Types of Hysterectomy

Types of Hysterectomy

While you may know that a hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes all or part of your uterus to help deal with several medical conditions, it can be vital to understand what’s involved in each procedure. Often, there is confusion between the different types. Partial, total and radical hysterectomies are all viable options. Some care providers, including Capital Women’s Care, even offer laparoscopic or robotic hysterectomies.

Many women in the U.S. undergo a hysterectomy, and it’s quite a common procedure. According to the National Women’s Health Network, in the United States, approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are carried out each year. Roughly 20 million American women have had one, and by the age of 60, more than 1/3 of women have undergone this procedure.

If you opt for a hysterectomy, you’ll no longer be able to get pregnant, and if you’ve not already experienced menopause, you’ll also stop having periods. You may need to decide whether your cervix or ovaries are removed, as well as your womb. Doctor recommendations, your medical history, and personal feelings will all play a part in determining the procedure that’s right for you.

They are commonly used to treat health problems that affect your reproductive system, including long-term pelvic pain, non-cancerous tumors, various forms of cancer, heavy menstrual flows, endometriosis, and uterine prolapse.

If you’re looking for a hysterectomy, you’ll likely be familiar with one or more of these conditions before your doctor considers putting you forward for the operation. One of the reasons for this is because a hysterectomy is regarded as a major operation that has a long recovery time, and it’s usually only considered after non-invasive procedures have already been tried.

The type of hysterectomy you’ll undergo depends on why you need the operation and how much of your reproductive system can remain intact.

During a total hysterectomy, the womb and the cervix are removed at the same time. This is the most common type of hysterectomy performed on women, particularly for those aged between 40 and 50. Total hysterectomies can, in some cases, be performed in conjunction with the removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

A partial hysterectomy focuses on the removal of the main body of the womb, leaving the cervix and other aspects of your reproductive system intact.

In the aptly named radical hysterectomy procedure, the removal of the womb, fallopian tubes, cervix, ovaries, lymph glands, fatty tissues, and part of the vagina takes place.

There are three different methods to carry out these procedures. Abdominal hysterectomies are done through large cuts in the lower abdomen, while vaginal hysterectomies are completed through incisions made at the top of the vagina.

Laparoscopic or robotic hysterectomies, meanwhile, are done through keyhole surgery, with several small incisions made in your abdomen. Traditional hysterectomies use relatively large incisions, whereas other types of hysterectomy only require incisions large enough to accommodate the size of a laparoscope, a typically long, thin instrument, and robotic attachments used to remove the affected areas.

Generally speaking, laparoscopic hysterectomies provide less post-operative discomfort, allow patients to heal faster with minimal scarring, and traditionally have fewer complications. To learn more about the procedure that’s most suitable for your situation, talk with your health provider about the types of symptoms you are experiencing, and they will recommend the best surgical option.