Encyclopedia / H / Hysterectomy



Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus.


The uterus, or womb, is a pear-shaped, muscular organ that lies behind the urinary bladder, in front of the rectum, and above the vagina. It is connected to the vagina through the cervix, or neck, and it connects with the abdominal cavity through the fallopian tubes.

The uterus serves at least four main functions:

1. To prepare for the reception of a fertilized egg

2. To nurture and support the embryo during its development

3. To expel the baby when it has matured and is ready to be born

4. When a woman is not pregnant, to allow the egg, or ovum, that is produced on a monthly basis by one of her ovaries, to pass into the fallopian tubes and out through the uterus to the vagina.


Before considering a hysterectomy, are there any other treatments available for this condition?

What type of hysterectomy technique will you be recommending for the condition?

How will this treatment affect the body physically, mentally and emotionally?

Will you be prescribing any medication before the surgery?

How long is the hospitalization?

If you have a life-threatening condition, a hysterectomy will be encouraged by your doctor. If you do not have a life-threatening condition, ask yourself the following questions:

How important is it to you to keep your uterus?

Are you close to menopause?

How do you feel about surgery?