Hysterectomy – Removal of uterus
Total hysterectomy, Subtotal or partial hysterectomy, Radical hysterectomy
Things to know about hysterectomy
What is hysterectomy?
The uterus or the womb is a hollow pear shaped reproductive organ in females, which is located in the pelvic region of the body. It is home to a developing foetus or the baby till birth. Sometimes, the removal of uterus, with or without its surrounding structures, becomes necessary in certain conditions. The surgical procedure of uterus removal is called Hysterectomy.
When is hysterectomy recommended?
Hysterectomy may be advised for the treatment of many health conditions in women. Some of the indicated conditions include:
- Abnormal bleeding from the uterus
- Cancers of the uterus, revealed by Papanicolaou test, commonly known as Pap smear
- Noncancerous growth such as leiomyoma of uterus
- Prolapsed uterus- uterus drops into the birth canal (vagina)
- Overgrowth of uterus or endometriosis
- Menorrhagia(heavy menstrual bleeding), pain, pressure on pelvis, frequent urination
- Fibroids in the uterus (intramural fibroids, sub-serosal fibroids): Myomectomy, a procedure to remove uterine fibroids, may be suggested before considering the need for hysterectomy.
What are the different types of hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy may be of four types:
- Total hysterectomy: The whole uterus along with the cervix, is removed.
- Total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: Includes removal of the uterus, cervix, salpingectomy (removal of fallopian tubes) and the oophorectomy (removal of ovaries). The doctor may suggest removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes when there is an increased risk or suspicion of ovarian cancer or endometriosis.
- Subtotal or partial hysterectomy: Leaving the cervix in place, only the upper part of the uterus is removed.
- Radical hysterectomy: Along with the uterus, the surrounding structures – cervix, and part of the vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes and nearby lymph nodes – may also be removed. Generally,recommended for diagnosed or suspected cases of cancer.
What are the different ways hysterectomy can be performed?
The gynaecologist will decide the best approach to conduct hysterectomy, depending upon the nature of the case and the medical condition of the patient. Hysterectomy can be done in the following different ways:
Vaginal Hysterectomy: The uterus is removed through the vagina, which is the area between the lower part of the uterus i.e the cervix and the exterior of the body.
Abdominal hysterectomy: An incision is made in the lower abdomen to view the pelvic organs and remove the uterus. Abdominal hysterectomy is performed in presence of complications like adhesions or large uterus where vaginal hysterectomy is not possible.
Laparoscopic surgery or key hole surgery: Few small incisions are made in the abdomen or sometimes through the vagina. A thin instrument called the laparoscope is then inserted through these incisions/vagina to let the surgeon view the pelvic organs and remove the uterus. The success of this procedure depends on the skills of the gynaecologist.
While hysteroscopy evaluates entire uterus, colposcopy evaluates cervix, vagina and vulva for any diseases or anamolies.
What are the possible complications of hysterectomy?
Although hysterectomy is one of the safest surgical procedures, it being a surgery has the possibility of complications like:
- Wound infection and fever
- Excess bleeding during or after the surgery
- Injury to the nearby organs or the urinary tract
- Deep vein thrombosis or formation of blood clots in the legs
- Problems associated with anaesthesia, especially in case of any underlying diseases
What can be expected after having a hysterectomy?
Some of the following may be expected:
- Bleeding and discharge from the vagina for a few weeks
- Constipation and difficulty in emptying the bladder
- Emotional and mood troubles
- Pain for a few days after the surgery
What are the important things to know about recovery after hysterectomy?
Once you have had a hysterectomy, you may take the following precautions:
- Follow your gynaecologist’s instructions
- Take plenty of rest, engage in light activities
- Do not lift heavy objects till you have recovered
- Do not use any external products for your vagina during the first few weeks like tampons, douching etc
To know more about hysterectomy, you can request for a call back and our hysterectomy specialist will call you and answer all your queries.
- Mayo Clinic. Types of hysterectomy surgery. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/types-of-hysterectomy-surgery/img-20007786. , Accessed on January 30,2018
- US Department of Health and Human Services. Hysterectomy. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/hysterectomy Accessed on January 30, 2018
- US National Library of Medicine. Hysterectomy. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/hysterectomy.html Accessed on January 30, 2018
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Hysterectomy. Available at: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Hysterectomy/ Accessed on January 30, 2018