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Types of Hysterectomies and Their Effects

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Uterine fibroids are responsible for more hysterectomies than any other health condition. Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed in the US annually, nearly half will be performed to address a fibroid problem. Cancer and endometriosis are also commonly treated by hysterectomy, but are not nearly as prevalent in the female population as fibroids. These are the most common types of hysterectomy for fibroids.

Total Hysterectomy:

In a total hysterectomy, the entire uterus and cervix are removed. Total hysterectomy can be done abdominally with an incision most often made along the bikini line. This procedure requires a longer healing time, approximately 6 weeks to 2 months for full recovery. A total hysterectomy can also be performed vaginally, which does not require a large incision through the belly. Recovery time is roughly 3 weeks to 1 month.

Sub-Total Hysterectomy:

A sub-total hysterectomy, also known as a partial hysterectomy, leaves the cervix intact but the rest of the uterus is removed. Many doctors remove the cervix automatically as a precaution against cervical cancer. These procedures can be performed abdominally, vaginally, or laparoscopically.

Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy

This operation is the removal of the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes. This is a separate decision which a patient and her doctor make before the surgery is performed. There are several considerations to think about before consenting to this surgery. This surgery causes an artificial onset menopause due to the loss of natural sex hormones. If this is the only choice available, look into methods of regaining hormonal balance through maintaining a healthy lifestyle and other support measures.

Abdominal Hysterectomy

This procedure is performed through an incision in the stomach. It is the most common form and typically requires the longest recovery time.

Vaginal Hysterectomy

This procedure is performed through the vagina.

Whether your doctor performs the procedure vaginally or with a small incision in the abdomen will depend on the size of the uterus and the causes of surgery to begin with.

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

The newer and more sophisticated procedures use laparoscopy to assist the hysterectomy procedure. During a laparoscopic hysterectomy, the organs are visualized and manipulated through a laparoscope, and the uterus is removed either vaginally or through a small incision in the abdomen. This type of surgery results in a much quicker recovery, (typically 1 to 2 weeks) with far less disruption of the bowel and pelvic floor. It is best performed by a laparoscopic specialist, someone that performs this type of surgery often, as not all surgeons are as skilled at this procedure. The choice here depends on the reasons for doing the surgery, the patient’s anatomy, and the surgeon’s preference. If you have a personal preference, definitely communicate this to your surgeon.

While a hysterectomy for fibroids will certainly cure a fibroid problem, many women don’t want to lose their uterus. Fibroids are usually not cancerous so you don’t have to rush into anything. Take the time to research your options and find what will work best for you and your lifestyle. Fibroids may be treated by other, non-surgical means like embolization.


Embolization has existed as a medical procedure since 1975. Members of the Fibroid Treatment Collective noticed that embolization shrank fibroids. The promise of an effective, non-invasive treatment led to research, trials and eventually medical acceptance. Thousands of women all over the world have found great relief with this safe and simple procedure. The Fibroid Treatment Collective performed the very first fibroid embolization in America, and has authored many important articles on the subject since then. Embolization treats fibroids by shrinking them.

Fibroid Treatment Collective

Fibroid Treatment Collective has pioneered an innovative and minimally invasive treatment for fibroids. Fibroid Embolization involves inserting a catheter and running it to the uterine artery, then releasing embolic agents that block the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to shrink. This procedure is significantly less invasive than any other procedure to remove fibroids. For most patients, recovery from fibroid embolization is a matter of days. 90% of women who have this procedure see their condition resolve with fibroid embolization. This procedure also protects a woman’s fertility and does not carry the same level of risks as other surgical procedures.

If you have questions about hysterectomy for fibroids or hysterectomy types, contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective at (866) 479-1523 for more information or schedule a consultation here.

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