Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
hysterectomy(hĭstərĕk`təmē), surgical removal of the uterusuterus,
in most female mammals, hollow muscular organ in which the fetus develops and from which it is delivered at the end of pregnancy. The human uterus is pear-shaped and about 3 in. (7.
..... Click the link for more information. . A hysterectomy may involve removal of the uterus only or additional removal of the cervix (base of the uterus), fallopian tubesfallopian tube
, either of a pair of tubes extending from the uterus to the paired ovaries in the human female, also called oviducts, technically known as the uterine tube.
..... Click the link for more information. (salpingectomy), and ovariesovary,
ductless gland of the female in which the ova (female reproductive cells) are produced. In vertebrate animals the ovary also secretes the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, which control the development of the sexual organs and the secondary sexual characteristics.
..... Click the link for more information. (oophorectomy). It may be performed through a conventional abdominal incision or through the vagina. It is performed in cases of malignant tumors, endometriosis, prolapsed uterus, or fibroids that cause bleeding and pain. An emergency hysterectomy is sometimes necessary to end uterine hemorrhaging.
Removal does not physically interfere with sexual activity, but it does eliminate the uterine contractions of orgasm. It also eliminates the possibility of childbearing and precipitates menopausemenopause
, transitional phase in a woman's life when the ovaries stop releasing eggs, ovarian production of estrogen and other hormones tapers off, and menstruation ceases.
..... Click the link for more information. in premenopausal women. Surgical removal of the ovaries eliminates their production of estrogenestrogen
, any one of a group of hormones synthesized by the reproductive organs and adrenal glands in females and, in lesser quantities, in males. The estrogens cause the thickening of the lining of the uterus and vagina in the early phase of the ovulatory, or menstrual, cycle
..... Click the link for more information. and progesteroneprogesterone
, female sex hormone that induces secretory changes in the lining of the uterus essential for successful implantation of a fertilized egg. A steroid, progesterone is secreted chiefly by the corpus luteum, a group of cells formed in the ovary after the follicle
..... Click the link for more information. along with these hormones's protective benefits to the heart, bones, and skin.
Some women's health advocates have questioned what they feel is the overuse of hysterectomy in the United States, where it is the second most common surgical procedure. Some studies have judged that up to 25% of hysterectomies performed in the United States are unnecessary and that more conservative treatments (laparoscopic surgery, hormone therapy, or simple removal of fibroids) would suffice in these cases.