Hysterectomy: A surgical operation to remove the uterus and, sometimes, the cervix. Removal of the entire uterus and the cervix is referred to as a total hysterectomy. Removal of the body of the uterus without removing the cervix is referred to as a subtotal hysterectomy.
History: James Blundell, a London obstetrician, performed the first successful hysterectomy in 1828. He also proposed doing a Caesarean hysterectomy (removing the uterus with the baby within it) to save the life of the mother (and baby). Blundell is considered a founder of modern abdominal surgery.