What is a hysterectomy? Hysterectomy is literally the term used in medical jargon to describe the surgical extraction of the reproductive organs, specifically the uterus. It can also involve complete removal of your cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and various other surrounding reproductive organs. The procedure is usually recommended for people who are no longer able to have children naturally. It is also recommended for women who have had their ovaries removed due to cancer or other reproductive disorders.
Hysterectomies are usually performed as a single procedure, although in some cases, a hysterectomy coupled with vaginal resection of the fallopian tubes may be performed instead. A hysterectomy should be the last resort for any woman who is no longer fertile or has started experiencing problems associated with her reproductive organs. A hysterectomy can be performed as an outpatient procedure in the hospital or even in a laboratory. In many cases, the patient is able to go home to normal daily activities within 24 hours of surgery.
Hysterectomies, while often less traumatic than other surgical procedures, carry certain risks and complications. Most commonly, there is some amount of bleeding after the operation and there may be some discomfort or pain following the procedure. Some patients report problems related to general anesthesia or difficulty breathing immediately following the procedure. These problems may subside within a few days but may require additional treatment from a physician. Patients who have problems related to local anesthesia, which requires use of general anesthesia, are sometimes advised to use local anesthesia to reduce the risks of complications.
The reason for a hysterectomy will vary depending on a woman’s overall health and the medical condition of her reproductive organs. If the woman suffers from cancer that is pressing against her uterus, her doctor may recommend that she undergo a hysterectomy. In this case, the entire uterus is removed because the cancer has spread (metastasized) beyond the cervix and into the abdominal cavity. Women who have had a hysterectomy because of cancer or another disorder may need to have a total hysterectomy to remove the cancer from all areas of the body, not just the uterus. This is known as a metastatic cancer.
After the woman has received a clean bill of health, she may need to make a visit to the obstetrician or gynecologist for a preop appointment. During this appointment, doctors will check to see if there are any complications that can be treated before the hysterectomy actually takes place. Women who smoke or have blood clots may need to wait until after their first round of antibiotics to have a preop appointment. Women with gynecological disorders such as uterine prolapse, tumors or cysts, or any other abnormal vaginal bleeding may need to wait until after three months of normal menstruation before having a preop appointment. A regular physician will be able to advise you if you need to wait to have a preop appointment.
After the preop appointment, the actual hysterectomy will take place. During this time, your doctor will insert one or more staples inside the uterus so that the uterus is removed. The stitches will be removed after one week and a new hole will be made within the uterus for the fallopian tubes to pass through. Depending on the size of the incision, the fallopian tubes may be tied off so that they cannot reattach. Your doctor will explain everything about the hysterectomy to you before the surgery takes place.
There are many reasons why women choose to have a hysterectomy. If you are finished having children, if you have had the procedure performed to correct a uterine disorder such as uterine prolapse, or if you are experiencing a wide array of symptoms due to cancer, the hysterectomy may be your best option. In certain cases, the hysterectomy may be performed to relieve symptoms associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Hysterectomies are typically recommended for women approaching menopause because their periods stop for short periods of time, which leaves them no way of telling if they are actually menopausal.
The benefits of a hysterectomy cannot be underestimated. Women who have undergone the procedure have undergone a chance to start fresh with their health care provider. Women who have experienced a hysterectomy have gone on to have children without any worries regarding ovarian cancer or PCOS. Not only is this a good choice for those who have an immediate need to be pregnant, but it is also a great choice for women who have had to deal with both PCOS and cervical cancer. A hysterectomy may not always be your only option, but it is one of many that you can discuss with your doctor.