A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, usually performed by a gynecologist. Hysterectomy may be total (removing the body, fundus, and cervix of the uterus; often called 'complete') or partial (removal of the uterine body while leaving the cervix intact; also called 'supracervical'). It is the most commonly performed gynecological surgical procedure. In 2003, over 600,000 hysterectomies were performed in the United States alone, of which over 90% were performed for benign conditions. Such rates being highest in the industrialized world has led to the major controversy that hysterectomies are being largely performed for unwarranted and unnecessary reasons.
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