Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Hysterectomy Terms and Abbreviations

(Please note that there is considerable leeway for interpretation in many of these terms, so definitely make sure that you and your health care professionals are using these terms in the exact same way.)

First, the single letters, then how to assemble them:
T: total (as in, taking the entirety of something)
S: subtotal (as in, taking part of a whole system or part of an organ)
A: abdominal (may also stand for "assisted" when used with "laparoscope")
V: vaginal
U: unilateral (one of two, or one of two sides)
B: bilateral (both sides, or both of two)
L: laparoscope or procedure performed using a laparascope
H: hysterectomy
O: oophorectomy (removal of ovary)
S: salpingectomy (removal of fallopian tube(s)
Now, the acronyms:
TAH: Total Abdominal Hysterectomy (removal of uterus and cervix through an abdominal incision)
SAH: Subtotal Abdominal Hysterectomy, Supracervical Abdominal Hysterectomy, Partial Hysterectomy (removal of uterus, leaving cervix, through an abdominal incision)
TAH-BSO: Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (removal of uterus, cervix, both ovaries, both tubes, through an abdominal incision)
TVH: Total Vaginal Hysterectomy (removal of uterus and cervix through the vagina)
LAVH: Laparoscopic-Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (removal of removal of uterus and cervix through the vagina with the assist of a laparoscope to see into the abdominal cavity through a small incision, usually in or near the belly button)
Surgery names that don't really get abbreviated:
Unilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy: removal of one tube and ovary
Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy: removal of both tubes and ovaries
Radical Hysterectomy: removal of the uterus, upper vagina, and parametrium (pelvic floor tissues); often includes removal of ovaries and tubes as well as a general exploration of the abdominal cavity and staging of cancer using lymph nodes
Excision: cutting away of specific types of tissue without removal of an organ, most commonly referred to in surgeries to remove endometriosis from organs within the abdominal cavity
Burch or Marshall-Marchetti-Krantz (MMMK): two specific procedures used to re-suspend the urinary bladder in treatment of incontinence; this surgery is sometimes performed at the same time as a hyst (more)
Medical conditions that may result in or be associated with a hyst:
Fibroids: benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus, believed to be nourished by estrogens and that typcially resolve if the hormonal decline of menopause is not supplemented; generally not surgically removed unless causing symptoms in other body systems
Uterine Leiomyomata: fancier name for fibroids
Adenomyosis: abnormal development of the endometrial lining of the uterus, extending into the fibrous and muscular layers; most often seen in women who have been pregnant
Endometriosis: endometrial tissue (the lining of the uterus that nourishes a fetus) that has escaped the uterus and attached to other portions of the body, typically within the abdominal cavity, and continues to cycle and possibly produce hormones
Cystocele: a herniation (gap, typically a tear where the tissue has been weakened, often from childbirth) of the vaginal wall through which the urinary bladder protrudes
Rectocele: a herniation (see above) of the vaginal wall through which the rectum protrudes
Prolapse: failure of the supporting ligaments that hold the uterus in place, such that the cervix and uterus protrude partially or completely into the vagina or even, in extreme cases, outside the vagina