Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus which may or may not include the cervix. Surgical removal of the ovaries (called an oophorectomy) is often performed at the same time as a hysterectomy. For many women undergoing a hysterectomy, there is no need to remove the ovaries. The latest recommendations about prophylactic oophorectomy (taking the ovaries just because you are there) is that the ovaries should not routinely be removed before the age of 65. It is the removal of the ovaries that causes menopause. Hysterectomy does NOT put a woman in menopause.


Types of Hysterectomies

Depending on your specific condition, you may need to have only your uterus removed or you may need to have your uterus and ovaries removed.

Complete or Total Hysterectomy

  • A complete or total hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus, including the cervix. This is the most commonly performed type of hysterectomy.

Supracervical or Partial Hysterectomy

  • A supracervical or partial hysterectomy involves the removal of the upper part of the uterus,
    leaving the cervix intact.

Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO)

  • A bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) involves the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes. SURGICAL MENOPAUSE is a result of this procedure.
  • A BSO (removal of ovaries/tubes) can be done alone or with a total hysterectomy or with a supracervical hysterectomy.

Radical Hysterectomy

  • A radical hysterectomy involves the removal of the cervix, the uterus, the upper part of the vagina, and supporting tissues, including the lymph nodes. This type of hysterectomy is usually performed when cervical cancer is present.


Any of these Types of Hysterectomy may be done by different approaches or different incision types.

Abdominal Hysterectomy

  • A hysterectomy may be done through a large, open abdominal incision

Vaginal Hysterectomy

  • A hysterectomy may be done through a vaginal incision

Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH)

  • A hysterectomy performed with laparoscopic (small abdominal) incisions and a vaginal incision with the vagina closed from the vaginal approach.

Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy (TLH)

  • A hysterectomy performed completely through laparoscopic incisions with the vaginal incision closed from the laparoscopic approach

da Vinci® Robotic Hysterectomy

  • A hysterectomy performed through laparoscopic incisions (small incisions in the abdomen) but using the advanced technology of the robotic surgical system.


The incision approach is the biggest factor in minimally invasive hysterectomy. Your physician will help you decide which type of hysterectomy is most appropriate for you, depending on your medical history and the reason for your surgery.

At Women First, more than 90% of the hysterectomies we perform are minimally invasive while only 5-6 % require an open abdominal incision.

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