A hysterectomy is surgery to take out the uterus. In some cases, the ovaries and fallopian tubes also are taken out at the same time.
The doctor makes one or more small cuts in the belly. These cuts are called incisions. They let the doctor insert tools to do the surgery. One of these tools is a tube with a light on it. It's called a laparoscope, or scope. The scope and the other tools allow the doctor to free the uterus. The doctor then removes the uterus through the small cuts.
In a total hysterectomy, the doctor takes out the uterus and the cervix. In a supracervical hysterectomy, only the uterus is taken out.
Most women go home in 1 to 2 days. You may need about 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover.
After the surgery, you will not have periods. You will not be able to get pregnant. If there is a chance that you will want to have a baby, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
Your doctor may advise you to take hormone pills if your ovaries are removed. Your doctor will talk to you about the risks and benefits of hormones. He or she will also tell you how long to take them.
This surgery probably won't lower your interest in sex. In fact, some women enjoy sex more. This may be because they no longer have to worry about birth control or heavy bleeding.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: October 13, 2016
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC, FACOG - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
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