All You Need to Know about Hysterectomy

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A hysterectomy is a surgical operation to remove a woman’s uterus. During the surgery, the whole uterus is removed. The doctor may also remove the fallopian tubes, cervix, and ovaries. After a hysterectomy, the woman will no longer have menstrual periods and cannot become pregnant.

A woman may have a hysterectomy for multiple reasons, such as:

  • Uterine fibroids that cause pain, bleeding or other issues
  • A Uterine prolapse, which is a collapse and sliding of the uterus from its normal position into the vaginal canal
  • Cancer in the uterus, cervix or ovaries
  • Endometriosis
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Adenomyosis, or a thickening of the uterus muscles

In this article:

What are the Different Types of Hysterectomies?
Are there Different Surgical Techniques for it?
What is an Open Surgery Hysterectomy?
What is a  MIP Hysterectomy?
Comparison of MIP Hysterectomy and Abdominal Hysterectomy
What are the Risks Associated with this?
What Should I Expect after a Hysterectomy?

Hysterectomy: Types, Surgery & Risks

What are the Different Types of Hysterectomies?

There are various types of surgical hysterectomies that can be performed, based on the doctor’s diagnosis:

  • The total hysterectomy removes all of the uteri, including the cervix. The ovaries and the fallopian tubes may or may not be removed and this is the most common type of hysterectomy.
  • The partial hysterectomy, also called subtotal or supracervical, removes just the upper part of the uterus. Here, the cervix is left in place and the ovaries may or may not be removed.
  • A radical hysterectomy removes all of the uterus, the cervix, the surrounding tissue of the cervix and the upper part of the vagina. This type of hysterectomy is most often used to treat certain types of cancer, such as cervical cancer. The fallopian tubes and the ovaries may be removed.

hysterectomy

Are there Different Surgical Techniques for it?

The hysterectomy technique performed by the doctor will partly determine the healing time and the kind of scar, if any, that remains after the operation. There are two approaches to this kind of surgery – a traditional or open surgery and surgery using a minimally invasive procedure, called MIP.

What is an Open Surgery Hysterectomy?

An abdominal hysterectomy is an open surgery and is the most common approach to hysterectomy. While performing an abdominal hysterectomy, the surgeon makes a 5 to 7-inch incision across the belly. The surgeon then removes the uterus through this cut. Following the abdominal hysterectomy, a woman will usually spend a few days in the hospital. There is, after healing, a visible scar at the location of the incision.

What is a  MIP Hysterectomy?

There are several approaches that can be used for the MIP hysterectomy:

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

This surgery is done using a device called a laparoscope (which is a thin tube with a lighted camera) and surgical tools are inserted through several tiny cuts made in the belly or (in a case of a single site laparoscopic procedure) one small cut made in the abdomen. The surgeon then performs the hysterectomy from outside the body, viewing the operation on a computer screen.

Vaginal Hysterectomy

The surgeon makes a cut in the vagina and removes the uterus through this cut. The incision is sealed and leaves no visible scar.

Laparoscopic-Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy

The surgeon uses laparoscopic tools in the belly to assist in the removal of the uterus through an incision in the vagina.

Comparison of MIP Hysterectomy and Abdominal Hysterectomy

The MIP hysterectomy allows for faster recovery as well as a shorter hospital stay, less pain, and scarring, as well as a lower chance of infection than an abdominal hysterectomy. It is also cheaper to go with the MIP hysterectomy than the invasive abdominal version.

With a MIP surgery, women are generally able to resume their normal lives within an average of three to four weeks, compared to four to six weeks for recovering from an abdominal hysterectomy.

Not every person is a good candidate for a minimally invasive procedure. The presence of scar tissue from previous surgeries, obesity, the size of the uterus and health status can all affect whether or not the MIP is advisable. You should consult with your doctor before making a decision.

What are the Risks Associated with this?

Most women who undergo a hysterectomy have no serious problems or complications from such surgery. However, a hysterectomy is considered major surgery and is not without risks. Those complexities include:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginal prolapse (where a part of the vagina is coming out of the body)
  • Vaginal fistula formation (it is an abnormal connection that forms between the vagina and bladder or rectum)
  • Chronic pain
  • wound infections
  • blood clots and haemorrhage
  • injury to surrounding organs

What Should I Expect after a Hysterectomy?

You may experience several lifestyles and health changes after a hysterectomy, these include:

Menopause

You will no longer have periods. If the ovaries are removed during the hysterectomy, you may have all the other menopause symptoms.

Loss of Libido

Some women have vaginal dryness or less interest in sex after a hysterectomy, especially if the ovaries are removed.

There is an Increased Risk for Other Health Problems

If both ovaries are removed, this may put you at higher risk for certain conditions such as bone density loss, heart disease and urinary incontinence (the unintentional leaking of urine). Consult your doctor about how to prevent these problems.

A Sense of Loss

Some women may feel grief or depression over the loss of fertility or the change in their bodies. They also feel a sense of a loss of interest in food or things you once enjoyed or less energy that continues for long after the surgery.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525761/

https://medlineplus.gov/hysterectomy.html

https://www.medicinenet.com/hysterectomy/article.htm#what_is_a_hysterectomy

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