A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is used to remove a woman’s uterus, or womb, from her body. In some cases, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed as part of a hysterectomy.
There are different types of hysterectomies. A total hysterectomy removes the entire uterus and cervix, while a radical hysterectomy also removes tissue on either side of the uterus as well as the upper portion of the vagina. A partial hysterectomy only removes the upper part of the uterus, while the cervix is left in place.
Why Is Hysterectomy Needed?
Women may require a hysterectomy for many different reasons. One common reason is if cancer is present in the uterus or the surrounding organs. If a woman has especially problematic endometriosis, a condition where the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, then a hysterectomy might be the answer. Fibroids, uterine prolapse, chronic pelvic pain or abnormal vaginal bleeding are other medical problems that can be resolved with a hysterectomy.
About the Procedure and Recovery
Hysterectomy is a major surgery that usually takes several weeks to recover fully from. The procedure can be performed either through an incision in the abdomen or through the vagina, and it can also be done as a traditional surgery or with the assistance of a robotic device known as a laparoscope. The recovery from a traditional abdominal surgery will take a few weeks longer than if the surgery is performed through the vagina or with a laparoscope.
Once a hysterectomy is performed, a woman will no longer have menstrual periods or be able to get pregnant. There’s also a chance that menopause will begin earlier if a younger woman receives a hysterectomy. In addition, menopause will begin immediately if the hysterectomy includes the removal of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes. These are all considerations that women will need to think about prior to receiving a hysterectomy.