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During a hysterectomy procedure, the surgeon removes a woman’s uterus, also known as the womb. There are several types of hysterectomies and the type of procedure a surgeon performs depends on the patient’s diagnosis:

  • Subtotal hysterectomy:  Removal of the upper part of the uterus keeping the cervix intact
  • Total hysterectomy: Removal of the entire uterus and cervix
  • Radical hysterectomy: Removal of the whole uterus, tissue on the sides of the uterus, the cervix, and the top part of the vagina
  • Oophorectomy: Removal of the ovaries as well as the uterus (In some patients ovaries may be left in place.)

Hysterectomy side effects will depend on how the procedure is performed. At Holy Cross Health, surgeons have pioneered and often perform minimally invasive procedures that result in faster recovery and fewer complications:

  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy:  Surgeons use a camera and surgical instruments that are introduced through two or more small incisions in the abdomen. A video screen helps to guide their hands as they detach and remove the uterus.
  • Vaginal hysterectomy: The surgeon makes a cut in the vagina and removes the uterus through this incision. The incision is closed, leaving no visible scar. 
  • Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy: The surgeon uses laparoscopic surgical tools to remove the uterus through an incision in the vagina. 
  • Robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy: The surgeon makes one or more small incisions in the abdomen and controls a robotic system of surgical tools from outside the body to remove the uterus. The technology allows the surgeon to use natural wrist movements and view the process on a screen that shows three-dimensional images.

For more information about Gynecologic Surgery at Holy Cross Health, please fill out our brief contact form or call Stephanie Heller, program director at 301-754-7501.

To find a physician or to make an appointment, search the physician directory or call 301-754-8800.

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