A hysterectomy is surgery to take out the uterus.
Sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes also are removed at the same
There are many ways
to do the surgery. The type you have depends on your medical condition. It also depends on your overall health. Talk with your doctor about which type is
right for you.
This is done through a cut,
called an incision, that the doctor makes in the lower belly. Your doctor may
do surgery this way if:
This is done through the
vagina. Your doctor may do surgery this way if:
This is done through the vagina and one or more small cuts in the belly.
The doctor will insert a laparoscope and
special tools through the cuts in the belly. The scope and tools
help free the uterus. Then it is removed through the vagina.
done through several small cuts in the belly. The doctor inserts a scope
and special tools through the cuts in the belly. He or she takes out the
uterus in small pieces through the cuts. The cervix is left
in place. This is an option when cancer of the cervix is not a
In rare cases, during a vaginal or laparoscopic
surgery, the doctor may find a problem that makes abdominal
surgery a better choice. If this happens, the doctor will take out the
uterus through a cut in the lower belly.
Recovery can take from 4 to 6 weeks. It depends on which type of surgery you have. You will need help around the house while you get better. You won't be able to do any heavy lifting. And you will have to take it easy for a few weeks. It is normal to feel more tired than usual. You also may notice that your emotions go up and down more than usual for a while.
After surgery, you will no longer have periods. You will not be able to get
pregnant. If there is a chance that you will want to have a baby in the future,
talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
should not lower your interest in sex after you have healed. In fact, some
women enjoy sex more. They no longer have to worry about birth control or
heavy bleeding. Some women have vaginal dryness after the surgery. It can make
sex less comfortable. A vaginal lubricant, such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly, can
You may need to take hormone pills after your surgery if
your ovaries are removed and you have not gone through menopause. Taking out the
ovaries before menopause causes a sudden drop in the hormone estrogen. This
increases your risk of getting weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis).
Although estrogen therapy lowers this risk,
it does slightly raise the risk of some other problems. These include breast
cancer and stroke. Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of taking
estrogen if you have your ovaries removed.
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 is also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of
the medicines you take.
Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed
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Current as of:
February 25, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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