Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves making an incision in the uterus to remove uterine contents. It can be performed for various reasons including caesarian section, foetal surgery, delayed abortion, and a range of gynaecological procedures. It is different from hysterectomy, which refers to the complete or partial removal of the uterus (commonly known as the womb) with or without the other organs of the female genital tract. However, hysterotomy can be a part of hysterectomy.
Unlike hysterectomy wherein the surgeon can make the incision either in the abdomen or the vagina to access the uterus, hysterotomy is performed exclusively via the abdomen. The incision is generally smaller when compared to the one used in hysterectomy. Both procedures can be performed under general anaesthesia.
Hysterotomy is the widely preferred technique for open foetal surgery. It is also the operation of choice if the uterus needs to be operated on during pregnancy or if a woman decides to abort the foetus after the first trimester. If the procedure is to be performed for delayed abortion, it is done the same way as caesarean section.