This appears to be one of the most misunderstood aspects of hysterectomy. I was not clear on this either, before I had a hysterectomy. I found people would hear about my surgery and then would label it with terms that they were familiar with but did not accurately describe my surgery. Here are the three types of hysterectomy surgeries as found on the Mayo Clinic Site:
Supra-cervical hysterectomy (also referred to as a partial or subtotal hysterectomy): This is the removal of the upper part of the uterus only and leaves the cervix in place (first image pictured above).
Total hysterectomy: This involves the removal of the uterus and cervix and is the procedure I had (bottom left image). However, if I told people I had a total hysterectomy they assumed that meant the removal of ‘everything’ which is actually a:
Radical hysterectomy: involve removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries (far right image). This occurs most often when cancer is present.
To add to the confusion, these are types of hysterectomy based on what is removed. Types of hysterectomy can also be classified based on the type of surgery performed. More on that in the next post!