What is Hysterectomy? Types, Side Effects and Removal of Uterus

Recently, Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie was in the news for her decision to undergo hysterectomy – removal of uterus and ovaries – to reduce the risk of cancer. But closer to home in India, there seems to be little understanding about the surgery and why the need to opt for it.

What is Hysterectomy?

The surgical removal of uterus is generally referred to as hysterectomy, and can be along with the ovaries, depending upon the age of the woman or the condition of the ovaries.

Hysterectomy may be done for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Fibroid uterus, which is a benign tumor of the uterus
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Endometriosis
  • Chronic pelvic infection
  • Utero vaginal prolapsed
  • Cancers of the uterus, cervix or ovaries

Hysterectomy is performed only after all the alternative treatments including medications have failed.

What is Hysterectomy

Types of Hysterectomy: Depending on the reason, the doctor would decide upon the type of hysterectomy.

  • Radical Hysterectomy – the entire uterus, tissues on the side, cervix and part of the vagina are removed. This is mainly done for cancer patients.
  • Total Hysterectomy – the whole uterus along with cervix are removed.
  • Sub-total Hysterectomy – only the upper part of the uterus is removed.

Advantages of Hysterectomy:

  • Marked improvement in general condition of the woman.
  • Lessens the risk of cancer.
  • Only option for people who are suffering from multiple gynecological problems that were not responding properly to non-surgical treatments.


  • Abdominal Hysterectomy: In this traditional method, the surgeon makes an incision on the abdomen through which the uterus is removed.
  • Vaginal Hysterectomy: Uterus is removed through the vagina.
  • Minimally-invasive procedures:
  • Laparoscopy – Key-hole surgery
  • Robotic surgery

Also Read: What is a Retroverted Uterus?

Removal of Ovaries:

While the removal of uterus may not have much adverse effect, the removal of both the ovaries can have an impact, as the female hormone estrogen is reduced in the body, causing menopausal symptoms. Estrogen hormone also protects women from heart ailments. Its deficiency can lead to osteoporosis and fractures.

What can be done?

  • In such situations, where a Hysterectomy had to be done at an early age, estrogen hormones can be given under regular supervision.
  • Calcium and Vitamin D3 supplements along with regular exercise can prevent osteoporosis.
SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

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