A hysterectomy is a serious but common surgical procedure in which a woman’s uterus is removed in order to address problems such as symptomatic uterine fibroids, gynecologic cancers, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, and/or abnormal pain and bleeding. Depending on the reason for the operation, a total, partial or radical hysterectomy may be performed. Whereas the uterus and cervix are removed in a total hysterectomy, only the upper part of the uterus is removed in a partial hysterectomy, with the cervix left in place. Alternatively, a radical hysterectomy may involve removing the entire uterus, cervix and other surrounding structures – typically as a means of addressing cancer. When the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed, this is called a salpingo-oophorectomy. A hysterectomy may be performed vaginally, via open abdominal surgery or using laparoscopic technique that involves several small incisions in the abdomen. Depending on what type of hysterectomy is performed, the patient may need to remain in the hospital for two or more days following her surgery.