Hysterectomy is not a totally unfamiliar word.
You may have known people in your family and among your friends who have talked about it, or worse, have gone under the knife for it. No? Bless you.
Hysterectomy is a medical procedure wherein the uterus is removed. There are many reasons why a woman might need to undergo this major procedure. It could be abnormal vagina bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, thickening of the uterus or what is known as adenomyosis, and cancer of the womb, cervix or ovaries, prolapse of the uterus (when there is weakening in the ligaments and tissues that support the womb), fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease.
It sounds frightening. When is a hysterectomy really needed?
We have given reasons above why some women need to undergo the procedure. However, there are other symptoms that women pass off as normal, until they realize that they are changing their body and are affecting their overall health. For instance, some women bleed heavily when they have their period and the bleeding comes with stomach cramps and severe pains. A hysterectomy will not be recommended by a doctor unless all other measures have already been taken to relieve pains and underlying symptoms.
A hysterectomy may also be recommended for serious diseases like cancer of the fallopian tubes, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer. Removing the nest of the cancer is sometimes the only way to prevent the cancer from spreading and getting worse.
What are the different types of hysterectomy and how are they done?
There are three types of hysterectomy. In a total hysterectomy, the entire uterus and cervix are removed. A supracervical or subtotal hysterectomy is the removal of the upper part of the uterus but the cervix is not touched. The kind that is performed among cancer patients is called radical hysterectomy where the whole uterus is removed along with the cervix, the top part of the vagina and tissues on the side of the uterus.
A hysterectomy may be done through different techniques. Doctors strongly advise that you understand what kind of technique will be done to you so you will understand post-operation recovery. Besides, it’s your body you simply have to know.
The laparoscopic hysterectomy is a surgery that’s done from outside the body. The vaginal hysterectomy on the other hand is done through a cut made in the vagina from where the uterus will be made to pass through during the removal. A robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy means a doctor performs the surgery by controlling robotic system of surgical tools and uses a three-dimensional screen as an aid.
Will you be the unhappiest person you know after a hysterectomy?
It is a common belief that a woman jumps into her menopause after she undergoes a hysterectomy. It’s not always the case. Many women who have had the procedure done have reported getting back to their normal activities without experiencing any problems. In cases where ovaries are removed, onset of menopause may be expected.
Another concern would be the effect of hysterectomy on the sex life. The only question is when you can get intimate again post surgery. Your doctor would know.
What are your thoughts about hysterectomy?
If you become concerned about any symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/babies/important-hotlines-websites/
SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information. All information provided is correct at time of publication.