Home > Health A – Z > Abdominal Hysterectomy

Abdominal Hysterectomy

Surgical removal of part or all of the uterus via an abdominal approach.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) has an adverse effect on the quality of life of many women. It is not a problem associated with significant mortality. Many women seek help from their general practitioners and it is a common reason for referral into secondary care.

Key hole‐assisted vaginal extended (radical) hysterectomy versus open radical hysterectomy for the treatment of early cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women. A woman's risk of developing cervical cancer by 65 years of age ranges from 0.69% in developed countries to 1.38% in developing countries. In Europe, about 60% of women with cervical cancer are alive five years after diagnosis. Standard treatment for selected early cervical cancer is radical hysterectomy, involving removal of the cervix, uterus (womb) and supporting tissues (parametrium), together with the pelvic lymph glands (nodes) and a top part of the vagina (cuff). Traditionally, radical hysterectomy has been performed as open surgery for more than a century. In recent years this operation has also been performed laparoscopically (key hole surgery) to reduce the size of the abdominal incision.

Subtotal versus total hysterectomy

When hysterectomy is required for non‐cancerous conditions, either the uterus alone (subtotal hysterectomy) or the uterus and the cervix (total hysterectomy) are removed. It has been suggested that not removing the cervix (subtotal hysterectomy) would reduce the chances of sexual difficulties or problems with passing urine or stools. This review has found no evidence of a difference between these two different operations for these outcomes. Surgery is faster with subtotal hysterectomy and there is less blood loss during or just after surgery, although these benefits are not large. With subtotal hysterectomy, women are less likely to experience fever during or just after surgery but are more likely to have long term ongoing menstrual bleeding when compared with total hysterectomy.

See all (115)

Summaries for consumers

Key hole‐assisted vaginal extended (radical) hysterectomy versus open radical hysterectomy for the treatment of early cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women. A woman's risk of developing cervical cancer by 65 years of age ranges from 0.69% in developed countries to 1.38% in developing countries. In Europe, about 60% of women with cervical cancer are alive five years after diagnosis. Standard treatment for selected early cervical cancer is radical hysterectomy, involving removal of the cervix, uterus (womb) and supporting tissues (parametrium), together with the pelvic lymph glands (nodes) and a top part of the vagina (cuff). Traditionally, radical hysterectomy has been performed as open surgery for more than a century. In recent years this operation has also been performed laparoscopically (key hole surgery) to reduce the size of the abdominal incision.

Subtotal versus total hysterectomy

When hysterectomy is required for non‐cancerous conditions, either the uterus alone (subtotal hysterectomy) or the uterus and the cervix (total hysterectomy) are removed. It has been suggested that not removing the cervix (subtotal hysterectomy) would reduce the chances of sexual difficulties or problems with passing urine or stools. This review has found no evidence of a difference between these two different operations for these outcomes. Surgery is faster with subtotal hysterectomy and there is less blood loss during or just after surgery, although these benefits are not large. With subtotal hysterectomy, women are less likely to experience fever during or just after surgery but are more likely to have long term ongoing menstrual bleeding when compared with total hysterectomy.

Pre‐operative GnRH analogue therapy before hysterectomy or myomectomy for uterine fibroids

Smooth muscle tumours of the uterus (uterine fibroids)are usually asymptomatic, however up to 50% cause symptoms severe enough to warrant therapy, and surgery is the standard treatment. Fibroid growth is stimulated by the hormone oestrogen and gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa). GnRHa treatment causes fibroids to shrink but cannot be used long term because of side effects and bone loss.

See all (31)

Terms to know

Laparoscopic Surgery (Keyhole Surgery)
Surgery done with the aid of a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called laparoscopic-assisted resection.
Subtotal Hysterectomy (Partial Hysterectomy)
Surgery to remove the uterus, but not the cervix. Also called partial hysterectomy.
Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy
Surgical removal of all of the uterus, and the right and left fallopian tubes, and the right and left ovaries.
Total Hysterectomy (Complete Hysterectomy)
Surgery to remove the entire uterus, including the cervix. Also called complete hysterectomy.
Uterus (Womb)
The small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis. This is the organ in which a fetus develops. Also called womb.
Vaginal Hysterectomy
A surgical procedure to remove the uterine body and cervix, via the vaginal approach.

More about Abdominal Hysterectomy

Photo of an adult woman

Other terms to know: See all 6
Laparoscopic Surgery (Keyhole Surgery), Subtotal Hysterectomy (Partial Hysterectomy), Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

Keep up with systematic reviews on Abdominal Hysterectomy:

Create RSS

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...