Health Topics

Healthy Living

June 2010
Fast Facts on Hysterectomy
Dr Chitra Ramamurthy
Hysterectomy is a surgery where the uterus – or the womb (as it is commonly called) - is removed.

Who Requires It
  1. Women complaining of excessive bleeding or irregular menstrual cycles in conditions like dysfunctional uterine bleeding or fibroid uterus.
  2. Women with severe pain during menstruation, usually seen in conditions like endometriosis (when a tissue inside the uterus is found outside it) and adenomyosis (endometriosis that has grown into the muscular walls of the uterus).
  3. If the uterus or ovary has cancer.
  4. Women whose uterus gets weakened and tends to sag down the bladder – this condition is known as uterine prolapse. Their rectum may get dragged as well, leading to other complications. 
Types of Hysterectomy
  1. Total hysterectomy: The entire uterus is removed. 
  2. Subtotal hysterectomy: Also called supracervical hysterectomy, where the uterus is partially removed and the cervix part of it is left behind.
  3. Pan hysterectomy: The uterus is removed, along with both the ovaries.
  4. Radical hysterectomy: The removal of the uterus totally with both the ovaries, surrounding parametrium and lymph nodes. This is done in patients with cancer of the uterus or ovary.
In women under 40 years, the ovaries are usually left behind if found to be normal, to prevent the premature onset of menopausal symptoms. Women whose ovaries have been removed might require hormonal replacement therapy.

3 Removal Routes
The route of this removal surgery need not be the same for each woman.
  1. Vaginal route, where the uterus gets removed through the birth canal.
  2. Abdominal route, where the abdomen is opened to take out the uterus.
  3. Laparoscopic or pin hole surgery, where small (1 cm) incisions are made on the abdomen at three to five sites for the surgery.
Hospitalisation and Recovery
  • The average hospital stay is from three to five days.
  • The length of stay depends on the type of hysterectomy and complications, if any.
  • Normal activity can be resumed in two to four weeks.
Dr.Chitra Ramamurthy is Sr.Consultant gyneacologist at Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
  • See additional information.