Hysterectomy Q & A
What is a hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy is uterus removal to treat serious problems in your uterus. At Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology, the team of board-certified OB/GYN surgeons usually use minimally invasive surgical techniques for hysterectomy. But, hysterectomy is a major surgery regardless of surgical method.
There are three main types of hysterectomy:
A partial hysterectomy removes your uterus but not the cervix.
A total hysterectomy removes your uterus and cervix.
A radical hysterectomy removes your uterus, cervix, and part of your vagina as well.
In some cases, you may also need to have other organs removed during a hysterectomy. The additional procedures are salpingectomy (fallopian tube removal), oophorectomy (ovary removal), and salpingo-oophorectomy (both ovary and fallopian tube removal).
When might I need a hysterectomy?
Some of the different conditions that could potentially require a hysterectomy are:
- Uterine fibroids
- Pelvic adhesions
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Uterine cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Uterine prolapse
- Uterine infections
Hysterectomy is rarely the first approach to these issues. Many women respond well to more conservative options like medication, hormones, physical therapy, and minimally invasive procedures like endometrial ablation.
But, if other treatments don’t work, a hysterectomy offers a permanent solution to many chronic issues.
How is hysterectomy surgery performed?
There are two approaches, abdominal and vaginal. In an abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical team accesses your uterus through a lower abdomen incision. In a vaginal hysterectomy, the team removes your uterus through your vagina instead.
Whenever possible, the surgical team uses minimally invasive techniques for both vaginal and abdominal hysterectomies. Minimally invasive techniques require only tiny incisions because the surgical team uses a scope for remote visualization along with miniature surgical tools.
Some women prefer vaginal laparoscopic-assisted hysterectomy because it doesn’t require incisions or leave scars, but it’s only appropriate when the underlying reason for your hysterectomy is endometriosis, fibroids, or pelvic adhesions.
What happens after a hysterectomy?
After a laparoscopic hysterectomy, you may be able to return home that same day. With a traditional abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy, you may need to stay in the hospital for at least one night. You generally return to full regular activity after around six weeks.
The Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology team is here to support you through all your female health needs, including hysterectomy, should you need it. Request an appointment by calling the compassionate team or visiting our Request an Appointment page.