The uterus is a paramount organ in a woman’s body as it is the home of the baby before it is born into the world. However, like any other part of the body, the uterus could be affected by several conditions such as fibroids, cancer, among others. When one has such conditions, removal of part or whole of the uterus is among the recommendations that your doctor will give you.
Hysterectomy is a surgical of the removal of the uterus for various reasons. Read on to know more about hysterectomy, when it is recommended and the recovery from its procedure.
What Is Hysterectomy?
As previously stated, hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s womb. This may be done to treat conditions such as cancer, fibroids, heavy bleeding or chronic pain. In some cases, hysterectomy includes more than the removal of the uterus where other parts of the female reproductive system which includes the ovaries, parts or the whole of the cervix are removed.
Types of Hysterectomy
Depending on the condition that you have, your doctor will recommend the removal or part of the whole uterus. The different types of hysterectomy that you may have done include:
- Total hysterectomy– This is where the uterus and the cervix are removed
- Radical hysterectomy– this is the removal of the cervix, uterus, and ovaries
- Partial or subtotal– This is the removal of the upper part of the uterus
Types of hysterectomy may also be determined by the procedure used. In this case, they include:
- Abdominal hysterectomy– this is the kind of hysterectomy performed through the abdomen either vertically or horizontally.
- Vaginal hysterectomy– this is where the procedure is performed through the vagina, leaving no scars from the procedure.
- Laparoscopic-assisted hysterectomy– this is a kind of hysterectomy which is performed using laparoscopic techniques, with the insertion of tiny incisions through the vagina or abdomen.
Important Questions to Ask Before Going for A Hysterectomy
- What structures will be removed?
- What side effects should I expect?
- What approach will be used?
- What symptoms show an emergency case?
- How long will the procedure take and how long will it take to heal?
- Will I need other prescriptions after the procedure?
- When can I resume your usual routine?
Recovering from Hysterectomy
The recovery period after the hysterectomy varies from woman to woman. Some of the effects to look out for include:
- Early or immediate menopause
During the recovery period, refrain from:
- Lifting heavy objects for about six to eight weeks
Talk to your doctor immediately if you experience pus or heavy bleeding. It’s also important to note that you will become infertile once hysterectomy is done. For this reason, ensure that you discuss all the available options with your doctor if you intend to have children in the future.
Please note that development differs from one child to another.
Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019
Sources: nichd.nih., webmd, verywellhealth, mayoclinic, nhs, womenshealth