Hysterectomy refers to a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus. A woman may opt for this procegure for various reasons, including:
- Uterine fibroids that cause intense pain, bleeding, or other issues
- Uterine prolapsed or sliding of the uterus into the vaginal canal
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Adenomyosis, or thickening of the uterus
Types of Hysterectomy
Based on the reason for the hysterectomy, a surgeon may either remove all or only a portion of the uterus.
Supracervial or subtotal hysterectomy
A surgeon removes only the upper region of the uterus, retaining the cervix in its normal position.
Total hysterectomy: Removal of the whole uterus and cervix.
A surgeon removes the entire uterus, tissue on the sides of the uterus, the cervix, and the top region of the vagina. This is only done when the person is affected by cancer.
The ovaries may be removed by a procedure known as Oopherectomy or they may be left in the normal position.
Surgical techniques for Hysterectomy
Surgeons use various approaches, based on his experience, the reason for the hysterectomy, and the patient’s overall health. There are two major approaches to surgery – Open surgery and surgery using MIP (Minimally invasive procedure).
Open Surgery Hysterectomy
An abdominal hysterectomy is one of the most common approaches to hysterectomy. It is an open surgery and constitutes about 65% of all procedures.
In this procedure, a surgeon makes a 5 to 7 inch incision, either horizontal or vertical, across the belly. The uterus is then removed through this incision.
The patient has to spend more than three days in the hospital after an abdominal hysterectomy.
Risks of Hysterectomy
Although it is a low-risk surgery, it could cause complications in some women. These include
- Urinary incontinence
- Vaginal prolapse
- Fistula formation
- Chronic pain
- Wound infections
- Blood clots and hemorrhage
- Injury to surrounding organs
- What to expect after Hysterectomy
If the ovaries are also removed, following a surgery, a woman will enter menopause. After the surgery, you should refrain from sex and avoid lifting heavy objects for at least six weeks.