A complete hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus (i.e., by a procedure called a hysterectomy) and the ovaries (i.e., by a procedure called an oophorectomy). Complete hysterectomies may be performed to treat various conditions, including cancer of the uterus, in pre- and post-menopausal women. For a hysterectomy. the incision may be made through either the abdomen or the vagina.
After a complete hysterectomy in a previously pre-menopausal woman, the woman experiences some irreversible menopausal symptoms, such as the lack of menstruation and the inability to bear children. However, some menopausal symptoms (e.g., hot flashes) in women who undergo complete hysterectomy can be treated by various hormonal approaches, such as estrogen replacement therapy.