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Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Hysterectomy

Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Hysterectomy

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a woman’s womb or uterus. Doctors have been practicing hysterectomies since the 1800’s.

A woman’s uterus or the womb is the organ responsible for pregnancy, conception, and menstruation. Once a woman’s uterus is removed, she can no longer experience menstruation or become pregnant.

Why would you need this procedure?

A woman may need to undergo this procedure because of some conditions or complications that she is experiencing. Some of these issues are:

Uterine fibroids

Uterine Fibroids are growths that are noncancerous in nature. They are found along the walls of the uterus. These growths may be the cause of immense pain and bleeding for some women.

Heavy or unusual bleeding

A change in a woman’s level of hormones caused by cancer, fibroids (as mentioned above), or infections can cause heavy and prolonged bleeding.

Uterine prolapse

Uterine prolapse is when the womb slips from its normal position in the vagina. This usually happens to women who have experienced many vaginal births. Women who are going through menopause or are obese may also experience uterine prolapse. Uterine prolapse may cause pelvic pressure and bowel problems.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is when the tissue that is normally found lining the uterus grows outside. They may grow on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other organs in the pelvic and abdominal area. Endometriosis causes severe pain and bleeding in between a woman’s periods.

Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is when the tissue that is normally found lining the uterus grows inside its walls where it does not belong. This causes the uterine walls to thicken, leading to severe pain and bleeding.

Cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix or endometrium

If you have cancer in any of these areas, your doctor may advise you that surgery might be your best option.

Irregular Periods After Birth: When Should Menstruation Normalize?

Kinds of hysterectomy

Depending on your condition, your doctor might recommend a different type of this procedure. The different types include:

Total hysterectomy

This is the most common type of hysterectomy. This procedure removes the entire uterus, including the cervix. Depending on the specifics of your condition, doctors may or may not remove the fallopian tubes.

Partial/Subtotal/Supracervical hysterectomy

Unlike a total hysterectomy, a partial hysterectomy only removes the upper part of the uterus. This leaves the cervix intact. Doctors may or may not remove the ovaries.

Radical hysterectomy

This kind of hysterectomy removes the uterus, cervix, the tissues on the cervix, as well as the upper parts of the vagina. Doctors recommend this kind of hysterectomy to treat cancers. The surgical team may or may not remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Risks and complications

Much like other surgical procedures, some complications might occur during or after a hysterectomy. Among possible complications are:

  • Bleeding
  • Ureter damage
  • Bladder or bowel damage
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Problems with the vagina
  • Failure with the ovaries
  • Early menopause
  • Breathing and heart problems due to anesthesia

Undergoing a hysterectomy involves some risks. However, this procedure is generally considered to be safe.

Key takeaway

A hysterectomy is a fairly common surgical procedure that involves the removal of a woman’s uterus. There are many reasons that a doctor might recommend a hysterectomy. While there are some risks associated with the operation, hysterectomies are generally safe.

Learn more about Medical Procedures and Surgeries here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Hysterectomy, https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/hysterectomy

Accessed March 26, 2021

 

Overview: Hysterectomy, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hysterectomy/

Accessed March 26, 2021

 

Hysterectomy: Frequently Asked Questions,

https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/hysterectomy

Accessed March 26, 2021

 

Hysterectomy, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/4852-hysterectomy

Accessed March 26, 2021

 

Abdominal Hysterectomy, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/abdominal-hysterectomy/about/pac-20384559Accessed March 26, 2021

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Written by Sky Abundo on Apr 23
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