Any woman who is thinking about getting a hysterectomy should take the time to learn the different types of hysterectomies performed today. Then ask your doctor which technique and type of hysterectomy is the best option for you. This basic information can help as you start to learn:
- Total hysterectomy
- In a total hysterectomy, the entire uterus and cervix are removed.
- Partial hysterectomy
- In a partial or subtotal (supracervical = above the cervix) hysterectomy, the ovaries and/or cervix are left whole.
Both types of hysterectomies can be done abdominally, with an incision most often made along the bikini line. Both can also be performed through the vagina, with no large incision through the belly. Laparoscopy is also a commonly used method. In laparoscopic hysterectomy, the organs are visualized and manipulated through a laparoscope, and the uterus is removed either through the vagina (laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy) or through a small incision in the stomach.
At our practice, we have doctors who are highly skilled at robotic hysterectomy as well. In robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy, the surgeon uses a computer to control the surgical instruments. The computer station is in the operating room. The surgeon is able to control the robot's movements steadily and precisely. This lets him or her get into tiny spaces more easily and have a better view of the operation than with conventional laparoscopic surgery.
While doing a hysterectomy, a surgeon may also remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Sometimes this is not decided until the time of the surgery. This is called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. There are numerous considerations to make before you consent to this surgery, mainly because of the artificial onset of menopause due to loss of natural hormones. The decision depends on the individual problems that are at issue.
Schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to learn about all of the appropriate options for your unique situation. Our knowledgeable staff can guide you every step of the way.