Each year almost 600K hysterectomies are performed. It is a surgery to remove the uterus. Afterward patients won’t be able to become pregnant, and they will no longer have their period. Depending on the reason for the surgery, your surgeon may also remove the fallopian tubes and the ovaries. That’s a lot of surgeries, so for what reasons is a hysterectomy performed?
Prepare for Your Surgery and Get the Facts
First and foremost, find out why your physician is recommending a hysterectomy. Is it to relieve symptoms of a condition? Will you go into early menopause? What exactly will be removed? Ask about any possible complications or side effects, and be clear about how your life will change before making the decision to go forward.
The best preparation is to understand why you are having the surgery and how it may improve your life.
Reasons Why A Hysterectomy Is Performed
Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the uterine wall grows abnormally outside the uterus. It causes severe pain, irregular periods and can also lead to infertility. Unfortunately, this condition can recur even after surgery. Ask your doctor about this possibility.
Cancer may be the most serious reason for a hysterectomy, and it accounts for about 10% of all surgeries. It is recommended if you have cancer of the uterus, cervix, endometrium, or ovaries. It can be considered if you have abnormalities that could lead to cancer.
Hysterectomy is an option for treating uterine fibroids. They are non-cancerous growths inside the uterus causing pain, heavy bleeding, bloating, and may affect fertility. There are procedures to remove the fibroids but preserve the uterus. Talk with our doctors about your options.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PID is a bacterial infection which causes severe pain. It can be treated with antibiotics if caught early enough, but removing the uterus is an option.
This is a condition that causes the lining of the uterus to become thicker resulting in pain and heavy bleeding. It can also lead to cancer. Discuss hysterectomy with one of our physicians and decide if it’s right for you.
A hysterectomy is usually a last resort with a prolapse. This is when the uterus drops downward onto the vagina due to muscle weakness. It can cause urinary incontinence and difficulty with bowel movements. Exercises and devices can be tried first, but if not successful, a hysterectomy may be recommended.
Other reasons can include the following:
- Severe bleeding after a vaginal or cesarean delivery
- Heavy irregular menstrual bleeding not managed by other treatments
Recovery After a Hysterectomy: What to Expect
If your ovaries were removed, you may experience menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, and insomnia. Discuss treatment options like hormone replacement therapy to help relieve the side effects of menopause.
You will walk around as soon as possible after the surgery to avoid blood clots in the legs. One of our board-certified physicians will monitor your recovery and restrict strenuous activities, sexual intercourse, and heavy exercise for several weeks. Recovery will take anywhere from four to six weeks.
Consider all the benefits and side effects of a hysterectomy before making a decision.