What is a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgery to remove the uterus. Depending on the situation, the whole uterus or just part of it may be removed.
During the hysterectomy, Fallopian tubes (Salpingectomy) and ovaries may also be removed (Oopherectomy).
Why is it needed?
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding, chronic pelvic pain
- Uterine fibroids that cause or/and pain bleeding
- Endometriosis/Adenomyosis (thickening of the uterus)
- Uterine prolapse
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries
Is it safe?
This procedure is considered one of the safest surgeries but with all procedures, the possibility of problems may occur. These include:
- Fever or infection
- Injury to the urinary tract or nearby organs
- Heavy bleeding during or after your surgery
- Blood clots in legs
- Heart of breathing problems from anesthesia
Types of Hysterectomies
- PARTIAL: Preservation of the Ovaries
A partial, subtotal, Supra-cervical or simple hysterectomy removes just the upper part of the uterus. The cervix is left in place.
A total hysterectomy removes the whole uterus and the cervix
A Radical Hysterectomy removes the whole uterus, including the removal of structures around the uterus and the upper part of the vagina. This is done mostly when there is cancer present or suspected.
**An emergency hysterectomy is very rare and the procedure is typically scheduled.
- Trans-Vaginal Hysterectomy: Procedure done through the vagina when a partial or total hysterectomy is performed.
- Abdominal Hysterectomy: An incision is made through the lower abdomen to partially or completely remove the uterus.
- Robotic Assisted/Laparoscropic Hysterectomy
Minimally invasive surgical approach in which one or more small incisions are made in the button and lower abdomen. Most of the time, you can go home the same day of this surgery.
Davinci Hysterectomy: The most common form of robotic surgery. Although this method is considered less invasive and faster, there are still associated risks of robotic hysterectomies.
How to prepare for the procedure
It is highly recommended to have the procedure done when a woman is not on her period to allow the physician to have a better view of the cervix. You will need to reschedule your Colposcopy if you are on your period.
24 hours before, DO NOT!
- Use any tampons
- Apply or take any vaginal medications
- Have intercourse
- Insert a douche
Preparing for Surgery
We follow the Enhanced Recovery Protocol in preparation of a hysterectomy. Patients will see our Physician Assistant one week prior to surgery to prepare. Some tests may be administered to assess your over health and give a final clear you for surgery.
Day of Surgery:
Typically, solid foods are not allowed 8 hours before surgery.
Expect to have some pain following your surgery for a few days. Medication will be given to relieve the pain experienced. Bleeding from the vagina for several weeks is normal and you are allowed to wear sanitary pads.
Depending on the type of surgery performed will determine the length of recovery time. During your recovery, avoid causing strain on your abdominal area which includes exercising, heavy lifting, household chores, and even standing for a long period of time. Sexual activity is restricted until your physician examines your recovery and removes the restriction.
Additional symptom possibilities:
Constipation, gas, pain or a sore throat from the anesthesia.
Temporary problems with emptying the bladder
3D Minimally Invasive Technology
Less Scarring, Less Trauma On Abdominal Tissue
3D technology and flexible camera has advanced dramatically in the past decade and is now being incorporated into laparoscopic single site incision hysterectomies. We offer the latest in 3D laparoscopy hysterectomy approaches at our facility. This method offers further reduced pain and hemorrhaging, as well as shorter recovery times, less discomfort, and better cosmetic results.
- Less time in the operating room
- Less recovery time
- Less trauma and scarring to the abdominal wall
- Less postoperative pain
Compare the different Hysterectomy incisions used during various methods:
Learn more about LESS
Depending on the type of Hysterectomy performed, your scar will vary.
Total Abdominal Hysterectomy Scar
- Vertical Incision goes from your pubic area to navel and sometimes around your navel and up towards the mid belly area.
- Horizontal Incision or bikini incision is typically barely visible at the top of your pubic line.
Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Scar
There will be small incisions in the belly that is typically closed with (more than likely) dissolvable sutures.
Vaginal Hysterectomy Scar
Internal incision is closed with sutures that the body absorbs.
Hysterectomy and Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT is used to replenish the estrogen that is decreased or no longer produced by the ovaries. There has been much controversy over the use of HRT; however, it is very successful in the treatment of many symptoms of menopause for appropriate patients. Your physician will create a personal risk assessment for you and together you will find the safest and best solution for your symptom relief.
When uterine bleeding is the cause of a suggested Hysterectomy procedure, additional alternatives may be available.
- Endometrial Ablation
- Uterine Artery Embolization
Hysterectomy and Endometriosis
Endometriosis cannot be cured but a hysterectomy may help relieve the symptoms.
Hysterectomy and Hormones
When your ovaries are preserved in a hysterectomy, the hormones needed will continue to be produced normally. Although, sometimes hormone levels can be affected when the blood supply decreases. If your levels of estrogen are low are affecting your quality of life, there are hormone replacement therapies available.
Hysterectomy and Menopause
If your ovaries are removed before you’ve went through the natural menopause process, you will experience immediate signs and symptoms of menopause.