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Hysterectomy: An Overview

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What is a Hysterectomy?

Hysterectomy is a type of surgery performed to remove the uterus (womb) of women and, on a few occasions, remove fallopian tubes, ovaries, and cervix. A woman who has a hysterectomy will stop having a menstrual cycle and would be unable to get pregnant.

To decide whether a hysterectomy is the proper procedure, a gynecologist will first perform a hysteroscopy, which is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose problems of the uterus.

Reasons for a Hysterectomy Operation

A woman of any age group might undergo a hysterectomy for any of these reasons:

  • Uncontrollable vaginal bleeding
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids (benign tumors) affecting the uterus
  • Cancer of the ovaries, cervix or uterus
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Severe pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Uterine prolapse

Types of Hysterectomy

1. Subtotal, Supracervical, or Partial Hysterectomy

This type of hysterectomy involves removing only a part of the uterus without touching the cervix. Depending on the situation, the fallopian tubes and ovaries may not be removed.

2. Radical Hysterectomy

Radical hysterectomy involves removing the cervix, uterus, the tissues surrounding the cervix, and the uppermost portion of the vagina. The ovaries and fallopian tubes may or may not be removed. This procedure is typically used in cases of Cervical Cancer.

3. Total Hysterectomy

This involves removing the cervix and uterus. The ovaries and fallopian tubes may not be removed except in cases of ovarian or fallopian tube cancers.

Risks and Recovery

The recovery period following surgery usually takes about two to five days but can last up to 8 weeks, depending on your health status.

Like every surgical procedure, undergoing a hysterectomy comes with some possible risks, some of which include:

  • Blood clots
  • Ovarian failure
  • Bleeding or hemorrhage
  • Damage to the urinary tract, bowel, or other surrounding organs
  • Infection or vaginal complications like prolapse
  • Ovarian failure
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Development of rectal or urinary fistula
  • Surgically induced menopause when ovaries are removed

Alternatives

A hysterectomy is one of the most common surgical operations performed on women and considered a safe, low risk surgery. Women who want to have children may find other options such as cryosurgery and laser ablation, as in the case of management of fibroids. Endometriosis can also be treated with hormone therapy or laparoscopy. Excessive endometrial lining can be managed with dilation and curettage (D and C) or endometrial ablation.

Women should discuss their options with their health provider to figure out if alternatives are possible. Hysterectomy is usually performed when all other options are impossible and should be carried out by a gynecologist.Medical Device Store offers a wide variety of instruments that can be used in hysteroscopies and other general medical procedures. These accessories include telescopes, forceps, scissors, sheaths, endoscopes, and instrument sets. All products are from KARL STORZ and are made of genuine OEM stainless steel.