• By Vivien Williams

Mayo Clinic Minute: Hysterectomy options

October 23, 2017

Hysterectomy, or the surgical remove of a woman's uterus, is a common gynecologic operation in the U.S. Dr. Megan Wasson, a Mayo Clinic medical and surgical gynecologist, says before a woman heads to the operating room, she should be aware of the various surgical and nonsurgical options available.

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Every year, approximately 600,000 women have hysterectomies, or surgery to remove their uterus.

Dr. Wasson says, “There are two main types of hysterectomies. There is a total hysterectomy where the entire uterus is removed. And there’s a subtotal hysterectomy, where the uterus is removed, but the cervix remains in place.”

Common reasons for a hysterectomy include fibroids, which can cause heavy bleeding; endometriosis; uterine prolapse; and cancer. She encourages all women considering hysterectomy to ask three questions: …

Ask if there are medications or other procedures, such as focused ultrasound and uterine artery embolization which can help you avoid a full hysterectomy. Second: …

“… She also needs to ask what approach is going to be best for her hysterectomy, whether that’s a vaginal approach, abdominal approach, laparoscopic. And, then, No. 3: She needs to ask what the benefit or risk would be of removing her ovaries at the time of her hysterectomy.”

Dr. Wasson says a discussion with your health care provider is essential when considering a hysterectomy.