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The female reproductive system is very complex. And like any system, it can sometimes develop certain medical conditions. Surgery may be needed if treatments and therapies do not solve the problem. Hysterectomy is the surgery to remove a woman's uterus or other related parts. It is a standard treatment for various conditions that affect the female reproductive system.
What is a Hysterectomy Surgery?
The surgical evacuation of the uterus and the cervix - is known as a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy surgery might also require the removal of adjoining organs and tissues, like the ovaries and fallopian tubes, depending on the cause. The hatchling creates the interior of the uterus when a woman is pregnant. The blood lost amid menstruation shapes its lining.
What Are the Types of Hysterectomy Surgery?
A surgeon may decide to remove all or only a portion of the uterus, depending on the cause of the hysterectomy. Following are the types of hysterectomy surgery:
A radical hysterectomy is about removing the entire uterus, the cervix, tissue on the sides of the uterus, and the upper part of the vagina. A radical hysterectomy is generally only done when cancer is present.
Supracervical or Subtotal Hysterectomy:
A supracervical or subtotal hysterectomy removes only the upper part of the uterus and keeps the cervix in its place.
The surgeon may remove the ovaries, a process known as an oophorectomy, or they may be left in their original position. Salpingectomy is the term for the operation where the tubes are removed. A hysterectomy and bilateral salpingectomy-oophorectomy are the medical terms for the complete treatment, which involves removing the uterus, ovaries, and tubes.
Why Do You Need Hysterectomy Surgery?
You may need a hysterectomy to treat:
A hysterectomy may be the best course of treatment for uterine or cervical cancer. Depending on the type of cancer and its stage of development, further treatment choices can include chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
The only safe and long-lasting treatment for fibroids is a hysterectomy. Tumors that develop inside the uterus are known as uterine fibroids. It may result in severe bleeding, anemia, pelvic discomfort, and pressure on the bladder.
In endometriosis, the tissue that typically develops inside the uterus begins to protrude outside of it. The ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other adjacent organs may develop this tissue. A hysterectomy, which removes the uterus and ovaries, may be necessary for severe endometriosis.
Excessive and Irregular Vaginal Bleeding
A hysterectomy may help with symptoms if menstruation is heavy, infrequent, or prolonged. A hysterectomy is performed only after other measures have failed to halt the bleeding.
Persistent Pelvic Pain
Surgery may be required as a last option if you have persistent pelvic discomfort that originates in the uterus. A hysterectomy, however, may not permanently reduce all forms of pelvic discomfort. An unnecessary hysterectomy might lead to additional issues.
Surgery to Confirm Gender
A hysterectomy, that includes removing the uterus and cervix, is a procedure some people opt for to have their body more closely match their gender identification. In this surgery, ovaries and fallopian tubes can also be removed.
What Happens After a Hysterectomy?
The length of stay after a hysterectomy depends on the type of surgery. Your hysterectomy doctor will want to monitor you to make sure there are no signs of complications such as blood clots or bleeding. You should walk around as soon as possible after surgery to prevent blood clots in your legs.
If you have had an abdominal hysterectomy, you may need to stay in the hospital for several days. Vaginal and laparoscopic hysterectomies are less invasive and usually do not require patients to stay overnight. Your doctor will give you recovery instructions, including restrictions on your daily activities. Be sure to discuss any concerns about your recovery or treatment.
What Are the Types of Surgical Approaches to Hysterectomy?
There are several surgical approaches doctors use to perform a hysterectomy.
- An incision is made in the upper part of the vagina to remove the uterus. No outside cuts are made.
- A dissolvable thread is placed inside the vagina.
- Most commonly used for uterine prolapse and other non-malignant (or non-cancerous) conditions.
- Fewer complications, fastest recovery (up to 4 weeks), and is considered the preferred approach.
- Often it is recommended to go home on the surgery day
- A laparoscope is inserted into the lower abdomen through a small incision in the navel. (Laparoscope consists of a camera to view internal body parts)
- Surgical instruments are inserted through several other small incisions.
- The uterus can be excised in small pieces through an incision in the abdomen or vagina.
- Some people go home after spending the day or overnight in the hospital.
- Compared to an abdominal hysterectomy, recovery is shorter and less painful.
Robotic Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
- Surgeons use robotic machines to perform surgery.
- A laparoscope is inserted into the abdomen to view the pelvis.
- Insert small, thin surgical instruments through her 3-5 incisions around her navel. The surgeon controls the robotic arm and instruments.
- Recovery is similar to laparoscopic hysterectomy.
- A 15-20 cm incision is made in the abdomen to remove the uterus.
- The incision is from the navel to the pubic bone or across the top of the pubic hairline. The surgeon then stitches the incision with sutures or staples.
- Most commonly used when cancer is present, the uterus is enlarged, or the disease has spread to other pelvic areas.
- Generally, longer hospital stay (2-3 days) and longer recovery time.
What are the Side Effects of a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy's most common side effects include vaginal discharge (which can occur up to 6 weeks after surgery) and inflammation at the incision site. If your ovaries are removed during a hysterectomy, you may experience menopausal symptoms such as:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of libido
- Sleep disturbances (insomnia)
What to Expect After Hysterectomy Surgery?
After surgery, you'll feel weak until the anesthesia wears off. The hysterectomy doctor prescribes pain-relief medications and evaluates each patient's condition. Some patients may be allowed to go home the same day while some may have to stay. In case a hysterectomy was part of your cancer treatment, you'll be hospitalised.
Vaginal bleeding, spotting, and mellow torment within the lower guts may happen during the primary few weeks after surgery. Recovery from a hysterectomy takes time. It may take a few weeks to return to typical action. Amid this period, it is critical to urge a bounty of rest and light workouts such as strolling. In any case, maintain a strategic distance from exercising for 4-6 weeks after surgery
- Lifting overwhelming objects
- Push or drag objects
- Using tampons
- Take a shower
- Sexual intercourse
What is the Recovery Time of Hysterectomy?
The recovery time depends on the type of surgery. Most people generally recover within 3-4 weeks after a transvaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy and within 4-6 weeks after an abdominal hysterectomy. Within 4 to 6 weeks, you should be able to return to normal activities such as working, driving, and an exercise program. However, we recommend you consult your doctor before resuming strenuous exercises such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), weightlifting, or contact sports.
A hysterectomy is a common surgery that can relieve symptoms caused by various medical conditions. In some cases, surgery can save lives. You cannot conceive after surgery, and premature menopause may occur. However, this procedure can reduce heavy or irregular bleeding and pelvic pain. Talk to your doctor if you feel a hysterectomy is needed. There are many factors to consider before deciding to have this surgery.