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Women’s issues : Hysterectomy – a surgery to remove a woman’s uterus or womb

What is a hysterectomy?

• A hysterectomy is a surgery to remove a woman’s uterus or womb.
• The uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant.
• The whole uterus or just part of it may be removed.
• After a hysterectomy, you no longer have menstrual periods and cannot become pregnant.
• During the hysterectomy, your doctor also may remove your fallopian tubes and ovaries.
• The ovaries produce eggs and hormones.
• The fallopian tubes carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.
• The cervix is the lower end of the uterus that joins the vagina.
• These organs are located in a woman’s lower abdomen, as shown in the image below.

Types of Hysterectomy

• Partial, subtotal, or supracervical (soo-pruh-SER-vi-kuhl) removes just the upper part of the uterus. The cervix is left in place.
• Total removes the whole uterus and the cervix.
• Radical removes the whole uterus, the tissue on both sides of the cervix, and the upper part of the vagina.

How is a hysterectomy performed?

There are different ways that your doctor can perform a hysterectomy:
• Abdominal hysterectomy
• Vaginal hysterectomy
• Laparoscopic hysterectomy
• Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH)
• Robotic-assisted surgery

Why do women have hysterectomies?

• Cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix, or endometrium (en-doh-MEE-tree-um)
• Fibroids
• Endometriosis (en-doh-mee-tree-OH-suhs)
• Prolapse of the uterus
• Adenomyosis (uh-den-oh-my-OH-suhs)
• Chronic pelvic pain
• Abnormal vaginal bleeding
• Very rarely, hysterectomy is needed to control bleeding during a cesarean delivery following rare pregnancy complications.

What should I do if I am told that I need a hysterectomy?

• Ask about the possible risks of the surgery.
• Talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
• Ask about the risks of those treatments.
• Consider getting a second opinion from another doctor.

How long does it take to recover from a hysterectomy?

• Recovering from a hysterectomy takes time.
• Most women stay in the hospital from 1 to 2 days for post-surgery care.
• Some women may stay longer.
• This is often when the hysterectomy is done because of cancer.

The time it takes for you to resume normal activities depends on the type of surgery. If you had:
• Abdominal surgery. Recovery takes from 4 to 6 weeks.
• Vaginal or laparoscopic surgery. Recovery takes 3 to 4 weeks.

What are the risks of having a hysterectomy?

• Injury to nearby organs, such as the bowel, urinary tract, bladder, rectum, or blood vessels.
• Pain during sexual intercourse.
• Early menopause, if the ovaries are removed.
• Anesthesia problems, such as breathing or heart problems.
• Allergic reactions to medicines.
• Blood clots in the legs or lungs. These can be fatal.
• Infection
• Heavy bleeding

Do I still need to have Pap tests after a hysterectomy?

• You will still need regular Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer if you had a partial hysterectomy.
• This is where your cervix is not removed, or if your hysterectomy was for cancer.
• Even if you do not need Pap tests, all women who have had a hysterectomy should have regular pelvic exams and mammograms.

The Essential Guide to Hysterectomy The Hysterectomy Hoax Your Guide to Hysterectomy, Ovary Removal, & Hormone Replacement

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