Synonyms: Removal of the uterus, Radical hysterectomy

Medical Specialties: Geriatrics, Obstetrics/gynecology, Oncology

Clinical Definition

A hysterectomy is a surgical operation to remove the uterus and possibly other reproductive organs, such as the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes.   

In Our Own Words

There are many reasons why women undergo a hysterectomy to remove the uterus, and possibly other reproductive organs. Medical reasons may include severe endometriosis and uterine fibroids, abnormal vaginal bleeding and uterine or cervical cancer. While it may seem drastic, hysterectomies are the second most frequently performed surgery on women of reproductive age in the United States. Caesarean sections rank first.


After a hysterectomy, a woman will no longer menstruate or have the ability to become pregnant. Recovery time for the surgery varies depends on the procedure and age and condition of the patient. Most women stay in the hospital for a couple days after surgery. 

Relevant Conditions
  • Endometriosis
  • Cervical cancer
  • Menopause
  • Overactive bladder
Common Types
  • Abdominal
  • Laparoscopic
  • Partial
  • Total
Share this article
  • Cleveland Clinic, Health Information, Hysterectomy. http://my.clevelandclinic.org. Accessed July 2013.
  • Cleveland Clinic. Treatments and Procedures. “Alternatives to Hysterectomy.” http://my.clevelandclinic.org. Accessed Sept. 2013.
  • Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. WomensHealth.gov. “Hysterectomy Fact Sheet.” http://www.womenshealth.gov. Accessed Aug. 2013.
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