Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus. Removing the uterus means that you can no longer become pregnant or menstruate. It is one of the most common gynecological operations. A lot of women feel uncomfortable at the thought of removing the uterus, however, your doctor may recommend the same if you are suffering from any medical ailment, such as :
Uterine fibroids.This is the most common reason for hysterectomy
Pelvic support problems (such as uterine prolapse i.e. descent of the uterus in the vagina)
Abnormal uterine bleeding
Gynecologic cancer-uterine, cervical or ovarian cancer
Severe bleeding after childbirth.
Ways in which a Hysterectomy can be done:
A hysterectomy can be done in different ways. The choice depends on the cause for undergoing the hysterectomy and the skill of the surgeon.
Abdominal Hysterectomy –The uterus is removed through an incision in your lower abdomen. Drawbacks include longer hospital stay, long recovery period, abdominal scar and chances of wound infection.
Vaginal Hysterectomy-Removal of the uterus through the vagina. There is no abdominal incision.
Laparoscopic (Keyhole/Minimally Invasive)/Robotic Hysterectomy– It is a surgical procedure performed through very small incisions in the abdomen using specialized instruments. Advantages include-excellent cosmetic results, minimal pain, minimal blood loss, shorter hospital stay and early return to routine activity, fewer chances of hernia formation, no adhesion formation as compared to open surgery.
Be open to your doctor before going for a Hysterectomy:
Certain issues should be well discussed with your doctor before proceeding for hysterectomy like-whether removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) is required.
If your ovaries are removed during the operation you may have immediate menopause after the surgery. Hormone therapycan be given to relieve signs and symptoms of menopause.
In case you wish to plan a further pregnancy, then you should thoroughly discuss any other alternative less invasive forms of treatment that could be beneficial for you.
Women with the strong family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer can choose to have both ovaries removed after consultation with the oncologist in order to reduce their risk of cancer. Depending on the reason for your hysterectomy, you still may need pelvic exams and Pap smear tests. Thus, hysterectomy is a very safe procedure if done by a skilled surgeon with minimal problems or complications after surgery.