Hysterectomies are routine gynecological procedures used to remove a woman’s uterus and sometimes her ovaries and fallopian tubes as well. When the uterus is removed, women are no longer capable of bearing children. They also stop menstruating and if the ovaries are removed, they will also enter menopause.
Did you know…
that by age 60, more than 30 percent of American women have had a hysterectomy? Although hysterectomy rates have declined slightly in recent years, they are still the second most common major surgery performed on women in their reproductive years. According to the Centers for Disease Control, surgeons and gynecologists perform more than 600,000 hysterectomies every year – that’s more than one every minute!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the common causes of hysterectomy?
Common causes of hysterectomy include uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, abnormal uterine bleeding, gynaecological cancers, chronic pelvic pain, and genetic conditions. Hysterectomy may be recommended when conservative treatments fail or for conditions such as severe fibroids, endometriosis, or gynaecological cancers. It's important to discuss with a healthcare professional and explore alternative options before considering a hysterectomy, as it is a major surgery with potential risks and complications.
What should I expect during a hysterectomy procedure?
Advancements in gynaecological technology and expertise have made hysterectomy less invasive. It can be completed via an incision in the lower abdomen or vagina, can be an open abdominal procedure, laparoscopic, or minimally invasive surgery, depending on individual cases. It may also be assisted by a state-of-the-art robot that is used for greater precision and shorter recovery time. Prior to the procedure, precautions such as vaginal douche and intravenous antibiotics may be taken to lower infection risk. A hysterectomy is performed under general anesthesia for one to two hours, with no memory of the procedure upon waking up.
Are there any specific instructions or precautions I should follow after the surgical procedure?
After hysterectomy surgery, your doctor will give you instructions for your recovery period. You’ll be encouraged to begin walking around within just hours of your operation, and you may need to stay in the hospital for supervision for a period of 1-4 days. You’ll need to get plenty of rest and avoid lifting heavy objects or children for at least three months after your procedure.