A hysterectomy is a medical procedure in which all or part of a woman's uterus is removed. A woman's ovaries and Fallopian tubes may also be removed at the same time, depending on the reason for the hysterectomy.
When is a Hysterectomy Needed?
A hysterectomy can be used to treat a number of problems or conditions. For example, a hysterectomy can be used to treat uterine fibroids, endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain and adenomyosis. It can remedy uterine prolapse, cancer of the uterus and unusually heavy bleeding. Because of its invasive and non-reversible nature, however, a hysterectomy is typically only done when absolutely necessary. You will need to speak to your doctor about your options to find out if a hysterectomy is the best option or you.
How is a Hysterectomy Performed?
A hysterectomy can be performed several ways. In an abdominal hysterectomy, the doctor will remove the uterus by making an incision in the abdomen. In a laparoscopic hysterectomy, the entire surgery is done using only small incisions for a faster healing time.
In a vaginal hysterectomy, the entire procedure is performed through the vagina without any abdominal incisions.
What Risk Factors are Associated with a Hysterectomy?
Most women who have a hysterectomy suffer no serious complications as a result. Women who do suffer complications are more likely to have vaginal prolapse, chronic pain, blood clots, fistula formation, urinary incontinence or hemorrhage.
One unavoidable side effect of a hysterectomy in young women and women of childbearing age is that it eliminates the possibility of becoming pregnant, and sends them into menopause instead. For this reason, many doctors hesitate to perform a hysterectomy on a young woman unless it is medically necessary, even if she thinks she is probably done having children. A hysterectomy is not reversible later if she should change her mind.
If you are currently suffering from a condition for which a hysterectomy is a known cure, talk to your doctor about your treatment options today.