What is a partial hysterectomy?

The term “partial hysterectomy” is a slang phrase meaning the entire uterus has been removed and the ovaries and tubes have been left.  A simple hysterectomy is surgery that removes the top or fundus of the uterus and the bottom or the cervix.

A total abdominal hysterectomy involves making an opening in the abdomen and taking out the uterus through that opening or incision.

If the cervix is left in place, this surgery is called a subtotal or a supracervical hysterectomy.

Surgery to remove the uterus may be performed from inside the vagina, a vaginal hysterectomy.

Minimally invasive procedures have been developed that allow the entire uterus or just the upper part to be removed using 2 to 4 small band-aid size incisions in the abdomen. This is a laparoscopic hysterectomy or laparoscopic assisted hysterectomy.

Taking the ovaries and fallopian tubes is a bilateral salpingo- (the tubes) oophorectomy (the ovaries.)

Endometriosis, painful menses, pressure or pain from an enlarged uterus with benign fibroid growths, or cancer are some of the reasons for a hysterectomy.

Once the uterus has been removed, the woman will no longer be able to deliver children.  She will also no longer have regular menstrual cycles; although sometimes there may be a small amount of bleeding from the cervix if enough of the lining remains.