Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. It may also involve removal of the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes and other surrounding structures. Removal of the uterus renders the patient unable to bear children and has surgical risks as well as long-term effects, so the surgery is normally recommended when other treatment options are not available or have failed. It is expected that the frequency of hysterectomies for non-malignant indications will fall as there are good alternatives in many cases. Approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually in the United States, with a cost of approximately $5 billion per year. From 2000-2004, the most common medical reasons for undergoing a hysterectomy included benign fibroid tumors, endometriosis, and uterine prolapse. Uterine cancer was not as common but is an important reason for undergoing a hysterectomy.
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