Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is done to remove the uterus (womb). Depending on the reason for the surgery, it may be done through a cut in the abdomen (abdominal hysterectomy) or through the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy).
Abdominal hysterectomy is usually done if the uterus is large from a fibroid (fibrous tissue) or tumour, while a vaginal hysterectomy is usually done for a prolapsed (out of place) uterus. Occasionally, laparoscopic or ‘keyhole’ surgery is done as a minimally invasive procedure.
Sometimes, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed together with the uterus and cervix. The decision to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes depends on the reason for surgery. Hysterectomy is usually done only when all other treatments have been tried.