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.
Hysterectomy is one treatment for a number of diseases and conditions. If you have cancer of the uterus or ovaries or hemorrhage (uncontrollable bleeding) of the uterus, this operation may save your life. In most other cases, a hysterectomy is an elective procedure. The operation is done to improve the quality of life: to relieve pain, heavy bleeding or other chronic conditions and discomfort.
There are four different types of hysterectomy, including:
Total hysterectomy – the whole uterus and cervix is removed, but the ovaries are retained.
Subtotal (partial) hysterectomy – the uterus is removed, but the cervix may be retained. During removal of the cervix is normally advised because it is a potential cancer site in the body, some women consider that it serves a purpose during penetrative sex. If the cervix is kept, regular Pap smears are necessary.
Hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy – the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed. This operation is performed if cancer of the ovaries or the uterus has been diagnosed. It may also be performed for severe infection or endometriosis.
Radical hysterectomy – the most extensive version of the operation. It involves the removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, upper part of the vagina, and associated pelvic ligaments and lymph nodes. This may be performed if cancer of the cervix, ovaries or uterus is present.
Blood clots, infection, excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anesthesia, damage to your urinary tract, bladder, rectum or other pelvic structures during surgery, which may require further surgical repair, early onset of menopause are some of the risk involved in the hysterectomy. Though every surgery has risk involved in it, but up to a certain extent these risk can be avoided with Dr.K.N.Srikanth MS, FRCS.
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, often when the hysterectomy is done because of cancer. You should get plenty of rest and not lift heavy objects for a full 6 weeks after surgery. About 6 weeks after either surgery, you should be able to take tub baths and resume sexual intercourse. Research has found that women with a good sex life before hysterectomy can maintain it after the surgery.