A Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus performed to remove fibroid tumors of the uterus or to treat chronic pelvic inflammatory disease. It is also performed to treat severe Endometrial Hyperplasia, uterine hemorrhage and precancerous or cancerous conditions of the uterus. This surgery is usually performed when all other options have been explored and failed. Depending on the reason for the hysterectomy a surgeon may choose to remove all or part of the uterus.
There are several types of hysterectomy’s a surgeon will perform. The first is a Supracervial or subtotal hysterectomy. A surgeon removes only the upper part of the uterus keeping the cervix in place; a total hysterectomy removes the whole uterus and cervix, and a Radical hysterectomy. The radical hysterectomy is when the surgeon removes the whole uterus, tissue on the sides of the uterus, the cervix, and the top part of the vagina. This surgery is needed when cancer is present.
The most common approach to a hysterectomy is the abdominal hysterectomy. This surgery leaves about a 5-7 inch scar on the abdomen. The surgeon may choose to make the incision vertical or horizontal. There are other approaches to a hysterectomy such as vaginal and microscopical, but the most common is the abdominal. A hysterectomy is a low risk surgery. Most women have little or no complications at all. However, as with all surgeries there can be complications. Some women have had problems with urinary incontinence, vaginal prolapse (part of the vagina coming out of the body), chronic pain, and Fistula formation (an abnormal connection that forms between the vagina and the bladder). Other risks include blood clots, and wound infections, which are uncommon. The recovery time after the surgery depends on the woman. Most women are told to abstain from sex and avoid lifting for six weeks after surgery. After a hysterectomy, if the ovaries we removed, a woman will enter menopause. It has also been proven that hormonal therapy is needed if the ovaries were removed. If the ovaries were not removed, a woman will most likely enter menopause at an earlier age. Most women after the surgery feel that the operation was a successful decision and improved or cured their problem.
Although, there is sometimes no prevention for having a hysterectomy, women should get yearly exams. Women should see there OBGYN physicians once a year since our bodies are always changing. You should especially been seen and let your physician know of any family history of female reproductive cancers or diseases. In doing this, you could decrease your chance of ever having these cancers, diseases, and possibly a hysterectomy.