There are many acronyms used to refer to gynecological surgical procedures, and they can be confusing! Unfortunately, it has become common to use the word “hysterectomy” as a shorthand to refer to not only removal of the uterus, but also to removal of other body parts (e.g., removal of uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes).  If you’re unsure what someone means, ask them to clarify what exactly will be removed,  and what will not be removed. 

Below, we break down all the different surgical procedure names into two broad categories: Those that DO result in surgical menopause, and those that do NOT result in surgical menopause. 

Surgeries that DO result in surgical menopause: 

Bilateral Oophorectomy (BO) - removal of both ovaries.

Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (BSO) - removal of both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.

Total Hysterectomy and Bilateral Oophorectomy (THBO) - removal of the uterus/uterus and both ovaries.

Total Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (THBSO) - removal of the uterus/uterus, both ovaries, and both fallopian tubes.

Radical Hysterectomy – the removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, upper part of the vagina, and associated pelvic ligaments and lymph nodes. This is usually performed where someone has cancer of the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes or uterus.

Total Abdominal Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (TAHBSO). This means the surgery is done by entering through the abdomen (a bit like a c-section) and the uterus/uterus and both ovaries are removed.

Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy with BSO Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (LAVH BSO).   This means the surgery is done by laparoscopy. The uterus, uterus and both ovaries are removed. The organs are then removed via the vagina.

Surgeries that DO NOT result in surgical menopause: 

Unilateral Oophorectomy - the removal of one ovary, leaving the other ovary in place. 

Unilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy - removal of one ovary and one fallopian tube, leaving the other ovary and fallopian tube on the other side. 

Hysterectomy (without bilateral oophorectomy) -  Only the uterus and cervix are surgically removed, but one or both of the ovaries remain. a supracervical hysterectomy means that the cervix is not removed. 

Total Hysterectomy (without bilateral oophorectomy)– where the uterus and cervix are removed, but one or both of the ovaries remain.

Supracervical Hysterectomy (without bilateral oophorectomy) - where the uterus is removed, but the cervix remains.

Visit www.iapmd.org/surgery for lots of evidence-based information and resources for those considering, going through or recovering from surgery for PMDD/PME.

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