Hysterectomy; Removing the Uterus
What is it?
Removal of the uterus (womb).
In some cases, the fallopian tubes, cervix and/or ovaries are also removed.
The most frequent operative technique used to treat this disorder.
In fact, fibroids are the most common indication for hysterectomy.
They account for approximately 1/3 of hysterectomies (about 200,000 procedures annually) in the United States.
What types of fibroids does it treat?
Removes all fibroids.
Should only be done if fibroids are very large or cause problems that cannot be treated in other ways.
How is it done?
There are a variety of types of hysterectomy including
- abdominal hysterectomy
- vaginal hysterectomy
- supracervical hysterectomy
- laparoscopically-assisted vaginal hysterectomy.
The type of hysterectomy chosen depends on
- the size of the uterus
- the woman's medical history
- the skills of her surgeon
The uterus is removed either through a cut in the abdomen (if fibroids are large) or through the vagina (if fibroids are small).
Both are major operations.
Abdominal hysterectomy can take one hour or several depending on the size of fibroids.
You will be in hospital for 5 to 7 days.
Vaginal hysterectomy takes about an hour and you will be in hospital for 2 to 3 days.
What is the recovery period afterwards?
Abdominal hysterectomy; recovery will take 6 to 8 weeks at home.
Vaginal hysterectomy; recovery should take about five weeks at home.
You will feel tired, but try to walk as much as possible.
Will the fibroids come back?
Fibroids will not grow back.
Will I still be able to get pregnant?
It is only an option for women who are not planning future pregnancies.
If you have a hysterectomy you will not be able to have children.
What are the advantages of this procedure?
Hysterectomy is the only procedure that comes with a guarantee; there will not be bleeding or regrowth of fibroids; it provides a true "cure".
All of your fibroids will be gone and will never grow back.
What are the possible complications?
- possible damage to your bladder or bowel
- risk of bleeding heavily during or after the operation, which may require a blood transfusion.
What are the other disadvantages?
You will no longer have your womb or be able to have children.
Can lead to an early menopause.