A simple hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman's uterus, a reproductive organ about the size and shape of an inverted pear, while a total or complete hysterectomy also includes the removal of her two fallopian tubes (bilateral salpingectomy) and two ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy).

Once described as the “gold mine of gynecology,” hysterectomies rank among the most common surgical procedures performed on American and Canadian women of reproductive age, with chronic benign gynecological disease the reason most often cited for this surgery. Hysterectomy and hysteria are derived from the same root word, hyster, meaning womb. The term hysterectomy was coined in the 1800s when removing the womb was the treatment of choice for female hysteria, a psychological condition said to be ...

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