Hysterectomy Q & A
What is a hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is surgery to remove your uterus. It’s not usually the first line of treatment, and is only recommended when conservative, noninvasive treatment strategies fail or if you have a serious disease of the organ.
A hysterectomy is a customized procedure, and the surgery type and extent is solely based on your needs. Your OB/GYN reviews all your treatment options with you so you can make an informed decision when it comes to your gynecological health.
Why would I need a hysterectomy?
The most common reasons for hysterectomy are:
- Uterine fibroids
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Uterine prolapse
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Gynecologic cancer
The team at Yorktown Health reviews all treatment options, including hysterectomy, for these conditions.
What are the different types of hysterectomies?
Hysterectomy may involve removal of just a part of the uterus (partial hysterectomy) or the entire uterus (total hysterectomy). Partial and total hysterectomies may include removal of other surrounding reproductive organs, like the fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Women with uterine or cervical cancer sometimes require a radical hysterectomy in which the entire uterus, cervix, and upper part of the vagina are removed. Sometimes your ovaries or fallopian tubes are also removed during a radical hysterectomy, based on your health needs.
What should I expect during a hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is usually performed as a minimally invasive surgical procedure at a local hospital. You’re placed under general anesthesia for the surgery and will be sent home the same day, as long as your vitals are stable.
Usually, the procedure is done laparoscopically. This approach uses small incisions, a laparoscope – a thin tube affixed with a lighted camera – and tiny instruments. Laparoscopic surgery means less scarring, less blood loss, and a faster recovery. Complex hysterectomies may require traditional open surgery.
A hysterectomy may also be done through the vagina. During this procedure, no abdominal incisions are made and the uterus is removed through the vagina.
The exact strategy for your hysterectomy surgery depends on the extent of the procedure and your health history. Women who have adhesions from a prior surgery or who have a very large uterus may not be able to have a vaginal hysterectomy, for example.
If you think a hysterectomy may be necessary or you’re having gynecological symptoms of any kind, call Yorktown Health. You can also request an appointment using the online tool.