Hysterectomy is the second most common surgery for women in the United States. Despite this, you may have some misconceptions about why these procedures are needed, how they’re performed and what side effects they may or may not cause.
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus. Here are some of the main types of hysterectomy:
- Total—the removal of the entire uterus, including the cervix
- Partial—the removal of the upper part of the uterus, not including the cervix
- Radical—the removal of the entire uterus, cervix, tissue on either side of the cervix and the upper section of the vagina
Hysterectomies can be used to treat uterine fibroids, heavy bleeding, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, andenomyosis, and cancer or precancer of the uterus, uterine lining, ovary or cervix.
Hysterectomies can be performed through the abdomen using an open incision. However, in many cases, hysterectomies may be performed through the vagina with no incisions or by using minimally invasive surgery that requires only small incisions. Recovery from a hysterectomy can take three to six weeks, depending on the method used.
Hysterectomies effectively end menstrual periods and a woman’s ability to get pregnant, but they do not necessarily cause menopause. If both ovaries are removed during a hysterectomy, then menopause will begin immediately following surgery.
If you have questions about hysterectomy and whether it is right for you, talk to one of our women’s health professionals, Dr. James (Jim) DeRossitt or Dr. Robert (Bob) Chin at the OB/GYN Clinics of East Arkansas Medical Group.