Here are the terms that should be known for anyone considering this surgery:
Types of hysterectomy
A total hysterectomy is one which involves removal of the cervix, uterus, and the fallopian tubes; the ovaries remain intact in this type of hysterectomy, although many women show signs of menopause soon after a total hysterectomy. You should discuss this possibility with your doctor prior to having your hysterectomy.
Hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy involves the removal of both ovaries; surgical menopause begins immediately after this surgery and you'll need to begin hormone replacement therapy while still hospitalized, to lessen some of the menopausal symptoms which are sure to follow this procedure. A hysterectomy, of this type, may be required because of ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, tumors or cysts on the ovaries, or PID.
A radical hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus, cervix, the top part of the vagina, and most of the tissue surrounding the cervix in the pelvic cavity; pelvic lymph nodes are also removed in cases of cervical or endometrial cancer and is rarely necessary.
Women at low risk for developing cervical cancer may have their cervix left intact and opt for supracervical hysterectomy, with just the body of the uterus removed.
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