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Total vs. Partial Hysterectomy

Total vs. Partial Hysterectomy

Understanding Your Surgical Options

An abdominal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus — and it may be performed as a total or partial. Hysterectomies are fairly common surgeries performed for several severe women's health concerns, but there's often confusion about what a hysterectomy entails.

Undergoing gynecological surgery can be a very personal and overwhelming experience. Keep reading to learn the difference between these two procedures:

Partial Hysterectomy

Partial (also called subtotal or supracervical) hysterectomies involve removing only part of the uterus and may be performed for uterine prolapse or endometriosis. This means the uterus is removed, but the cervix is left behind. Additionally, it is important to note that a hysterectomy ends your ability to become pregnant.

Though they can be used to prevent cancer, subtotal hysterectomies are commonly used when more conservative treatment options for various women's health conditions aren't effective. This means the procedure can be used to relieve severe symptoms of endometriosis, uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, chronic pelvic pain, and abnormal uterine bleeding.

Total Hysterectomy

Total hysterectomies remove the entire uterus. This procedure is more commonly done than partial hysterectomies, and they are more likely to be performed to remove or prevent the spread of cancer. In some instances, a total hysterectomy can also include removing one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes. In this case, you may experience menopause symptoms starting following your surgery.

The decision to perform a total or partial hysterectomy depends on many factors, including the reason for the surgery, the patient's age and health, and the surgeon's preference.

Hysterectomy Risks & Recovery Timeline

Before undergoing surgery, your doctor will explain the details — including risks and recovery information. Typically, the risks of a hysterectomy include bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding organs. The risks of a total hysterectomy are generally higher than the risks of a partial hysterectomy. Complications from a hysterectomy are rare but can include hemorrhage, infection, and damage to surrounding organs.

Recovery from a hysterectomy usually takes 4-6 weeks. During this time, it is important to rest and avoid strenuous activity. Following your surgeon's post-op care instructions is essential to ensure you heal properly.

Robotic Gynecological Surgery in Jackson Hole

At St. John's Health, our gynecologic surgeons are highly skilled in robotic surgery using da Vinci technology that enables minimally invasive procedures. Gynecologic robotic surgery is a minimally invasive breakthrough that allows surgeons to treat several conditions affecting the female reproductive system.

For more information on our surgical services, visit our website.