I have suffered with Gyn related problems for 23
years, Over the years I had been told that I was going to need a hysterectomy to help solve some of my
problems. You can read all about my own going struggle with pain.
Under My Story My Pain
The time had finally come for me to have a hysterectomy when I was 28 years old. The choice for me to
have a hysterectomy was simple, But for many women this can be a very difficult choice. One of the
most important factors in helping you choose the appropriate medical care, is your understanding of the
reasons ,for treatment, the risks, and the potential benefits. The information and links below will
I hope help you make a comfortable and informed decision about whether a hysterectomy is right for you.
Last year, almost 550,000 American women had a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy, the removal of
the uterus or womb, is the second most frequently performed operation for women, topped only by cesarean
section. Seventy-four percent of hysterectomies are done when women are between the ages of 30 and 54;
by age 65, more than 37 percent of all women in the United States will have had one.
WHAT IS A HYSTERECTOMY? A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the womb or uterus. Usually
the neck of the womb or cervix is removed at the same time and sometimes the ovaries and the Fallopian
tubes are removed as well
TYPES OF HYSTERECTOMY Partial Hysterectomy-This procedure
leaves the cervix and the base of the uterus intact. Total Hysterectomy-The entire uterus including
the cervix is removed Total Hysterectomy With Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy-This procedure removes
the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and both ovaries Radical Hysterectomy-During this procedure the upper
part of the vagina and some lymph nodes are also removed.
HYSTERECTOMIES ARE APPROPRIATE
large fibroids, unusually heavy periods irreversible damage from an untreated infections
cancer advanced endometriosis, complications from dangerous childbirth such as a ruptured uterus, a
prolapsed uterus (the uterus protrudes into the vagina)
HYSTERECTOMY IS NOT APPROPRIATE
FOR birth control, cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix). mildly abnormal patterns of uterine
bleeding, premenstrual syndrome (PMS). abortion, small fibroids, cancer prevention.
EFFECT WILL A HYSTERECTOMY HAVE ON ME? Most women find that their health and well-being improve
and that they can still lead an active life. It also means that you will have no more periods and that
you cannot get pregnant. If your ovaries are removed you get menopausal symptoms (such as hot flushes,
night sweats and vaginal dryness.) These symptoms can be relieved by Hormone Replacement Therapy. If
your ovaries are not removed they will work until your menopause. A hysterectomy can relieve chronic
pain and excessive bleeding and be a life-saving treatment. There are possible complication, including
damage to the bladder, bowel adhesions and blood clots. It's important to be well informed before consenting
to a hysterectomy. Always seek a second opinion if one is recommended.
(don't let this be confused with LAVH) This method, where the uterus
is removed through the vaginal opening, this is most often used in cases of uterine prolapsed or when
vaginal repairs are necessary for related conditions. The vaginal is stretched and kept open by special
instruments and no external incision is made. Since there is no abdominal incision, vaginal hysterectomy
leaves no or minimal scarring and often involves a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery time.
This method can affect sexual function because the vaginal may be shortened or tightened during surgery,
this can lead to uncomfortable intercourse however, most patients have not been good candidates for a
vaginal hysterectomy because of associated uterine fibroids, pelvic adhesions, endometriosis, or the
need to remove ovaries at the time of surgery (it is difficult to remove ovaries vaginally).
After you receive general or local anesthesia,
the surgeon inflates your abdominal cavity with a gas called carbon dioxide. He/she will make two or
three small incisions on your abdomen. The physician inserts laparoscopic and accessory instruments through
these incisions. The laparoscopy is done to cut the ligaments, which will release the uterus from the
abdomen. With laparoscopic hysterectomy, the tubes and ovaries and much of the uterus is first removed
through the laparoscope, and the remainder of the uterus and/or tubes/ovaries are removed through a vaginal
incision, much like a traditional vaginal hysterectomy. About 90% of patients are candidates for this
new laparoscopic approach. However, there are still certain patients (with large uterine tumors, pelvic
malignancy, extensive pelvic adhesions) for which an abdominal approach is still preferred. The length
of the procedure will vary from 60 to 160 minutes depending on your individual need for surgery. At the
end of your surgery, the physician may inject normal saline into your abdomen to remove the gas.
In an abdominal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed through a surgical incision
about 6-8 inches long. This is most commonly used when the ovaries and fallopian tubes are being removed,
when the uterus is enlarged and when disease has spread to the pelvic cavity as in endometriosis or cancer.
The main surgical incision can be made either vertically or horizontally. A vertical incision will run
from about your navel down to your pubic bone. Since this incision provides more room, it is preferred
when exploration of surrounding tissue may be necessary, such as in cases where cancer is a possibility,
or where there is a previous scar. The horizontal or ‘bikini' cut runs along the top of the pubic hairline
and is often used in cases of benign disease. Recovery time is usually 6-8 weeks. Your stay in hospital
will normally be from four - eight days. If you do not have dissolvable sutures you will see your doctor
in about seven days to have them removed. You should get plenty of rest for the first two weeks, If
at all possible have some there to help you, you will be weak and sore. Try to have a walk each day,
never overdoing it and gradually increase the distance. This will help to pass any gas that is trapped.
After three or four weeks you can drive again although it is a good idea to have someone in the car with
you for the first time. If the wound has healed, then swimming is an excellent way of toning your muscles.
Be careful with housework but DO NOT LIFT ANYTHING HEAVY for three months, and avoid standing for long
plays an important role in women's reproductive organs What you should
know: Hot flashes occur less often and are less severe. Vaginal dryness and discomfort are relieved.
The progression of osteoporosis may be delayed. Depression and fatigue occur less often. The
risk of heart disease and stroke are decreased. It protects against uterine cancer. It may reduce
the risk of colorectal cancer.
Be sure to check out our other health topic pages.
Disclaimer: NOTICE - The information on this website is provided as general health guidelines and
may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required
medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice