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What is a hysterectomy?

Goficure - Blog Page - What is a hysterectomy? (Blog Post) Last Updated April 17, 2024

Overview

A hysterectomy surgery is performed to remove the uterus. Once a hysterectomy is performed, you will no longer be able to become pregnant or have menstruation. The surgery is very common in older women after the age forty to fifty.

Since hysterectomy is a major operation, you must take into consideration several factors such as whether you are of childbearing age, how much of the womb (uterus) or other reproductive organs should be removed, pre-operative precautions, and post-operative pain management and care.

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a surgery that removes the uterus with or without other reproductive organs. It is very common to remove the cervix along with the uterus.

The uterus is a pear-shaped, hollow sac where the fetus is nourished and grows into a baby.

The uterus lining (endometrium) is made of tissues shed every month during the menstrual period.

If the uterus is removed, you will no longer be able to get pregnant or menstruate.

Depending on your symptoms and condition, the surgeon may decide to remove other surrounding organs along with the uterus like the fallopian tubes and the ovaries.

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Why is a hysterectomy done?

A hysterectomy is recommended to treat several health conditions that cannot be treated by medication or other treatment methods.

Heavy menstruation

Many women may experience unusually heavy bleeding during menstruation along with stomach cramps.

Hysterectomy is advised when:

  • No other treatment is working
  • The condition has significantly affected the quality of life
  • The woman no longer wishes to become pregnant
  • Removing the uterus is the only treatment option

Uterine fibroids

They are noncancerous growths that occur in the uterus. Fibroids or leiomyomas can cause heavy period bleeding, pelvic pain, constipation, and even infertility in women.

Other treatment options include medications, birth control pills, and less invasive procedures like myomectomy which removes the fibroids but keeps the uterus intact.

The doctor recommends a hysterectomy when the fibroids are very large, continue to regrow, and the woman no longer wishes to be pregnant.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue lining (endometrial lining) of the uterus grows and spreads into other reproductive organs like the uterus or the fallopian tubes. This can cause severe pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, irregular periods, and infertility. Hysterectomy is considered when other less invasive treatments have not worked.

Cancer

Hysterectomy is used to treat:

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Fallopian tube cancer

Sometimes, a hysterectomy is performed to reduce the risks of developing cancer.

Adenomyosis

This is a condition when the tissues that form the uterine lining grow into the muscles of the uterus. This thickens the uterine walls and can lead to pain and heavy bleeding.

The doctor first recommends hormone therapy and other medications. The condition can resolve during menopause. A hysterectomy is recommended if the symptoms are severe and cannot be treated with medications or therapy.

Prolapsed uterus

A prolapsed uterus is a condition when the uterus slips from its normal position and protrudes into the vagina. This occurs when the pelvic muscles and ligaments that hold and support the uterus become weak. This can develop during childbirth. The condition can cause urinary incontinence, back pain, difficulty in having sex, etc. A hysterectomy is suggested depending on the severity of the condition. Sometimes, the doctor may perform a minimally invasive procedure to tighten or repair the pelvic muscles.

Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID

PID is caused due to bacterial infection that can spread and damage the fallopian tubes and uterus. It can cause intense pain and even infertility. Early stages can be treated with medications and antibiotics. A hysterectomy is only suggested when the symptoms are severe and cannot be treated with medications.

Stop your suffering NOW

Don't just jump into a surgery because your doctor is advising you to go for it. Consult our doctors to know if you need a surgery at all. Rest assured, we WON'T recommend you surgery unless it's the last resort.

How painful is a hysterectomy?

Hysterectomy is considered a major operation and there will be some discomfort and pain after the surgery. Some people may recover faster compared to others.

The pain can be easily managed with prescribed pain medications. Recovery and discomfort depend on the type of hysterectomy.

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Final words

Hysterectomy is a big operation and can significantly impact your quality of life. The surgery is only considered when other treatments fail to treat the condition. Before undergoing a hysterectomy, it is important to understand its benefits and also the risks associated with the surgery. It may be a life-changing procedure and women should be physically as well as emotionally prepared to undergo this surgery.

Dos
  • Rest and get enough sleep
  • Wear light, airy, and cotton clothes
  • Look out for any signs of infection
Don'ts
  • Lift heavy loads
  • Eat fatty foods
  • Start pre-hysterectomy exercises right away post-procedure

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