What is a Hysterectomy?
One of the most common surgical procedures among women in the United States is the hysterectomy procedure. A hysterectomy involves the medical removal of a woman’s uterus. Your uterus, also known as your womb, is located in your pelvic area and is where a baby develops during pregnancy. A hysterectomy may also involve removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries.
What Are The Different Types Of Hysterectomies?
There are three types of hysterectomies. The specific type of hysterectomy you undergo will determine what parts of your uterus and related areas will be removed. Your doctor may perform a:
- Total hysterectomy
- Partial hysterectomy
- Radical hysterectomy
What Are The Reasons For Undergoing A Hysterectomy?
Hysterectomies are performed to alleviate uterine-related issues. Reasons for a hysterectomy may include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Heavy or abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Uterine prolapse
- Uterine, cervical, or endometrial cancer
- Uterine, cervical, or endometrial precancer
- Chronic pelvic pain
Although a hysterectomy can alleviate the above-mentioned conditions, a hysterectomy for non-cancerous causes will usually only be considered as an alternative route after previous treatment options have failed.
What Happens During A Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy involves your doctor removing your uterus; this can be done through various types of surgical techniques. Methods for removing the uterus include:
- Abdominal hysterectomy – involves your doctor making an incision in your abdomen through which the uterus will be removed.
- Vaginal hysterectomy – involves your doctor making an incision in your vagina through which the uterus will be removed.
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy – involves several small incisions being made in the abdomen. Your doctor will move camera-guided tools through the incisions to perform the surgery.
- Robotic surgery – similar to the laparoscopic procedure, this surgery is performed with the assistance of a robotic device.
What Can I Expect After A Hysterectomy?
Once your hysterectomy procedure is complete, you may experience light vaginal bleeding. Bloody vaginal discharge after a hysterectomy is normal, lasting days or weeks after surgery. If the bleeding is heavy or occurs for more than 6 weeks, speak with your doctor. Other things you can expect after a hysterectomy may include:
- A change in sex drive
- Increased risk for other medical issues
What Are The Possible Complications Of Hysterectomy?
Potential complications and risks associated with a hysterectomy may include:
- Blood clots
- Excessive bleeding
- Poor reactions to anesthesia
- Damage to pelvic structures
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Metabolic conditions
Prior to surgery, your doctor will discuss all potential risks and side effects with you. Surgical treatment with a hysterectomy will only be recommended if the potential benefits outweigh the possible risks and complications.
How Long Does A Hysterectomy Take?
Your procedure time will depend on what type of hysterectomy procedure takes place. Generally, you can expect the surgery to last anywhere from 1-2 hours.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Hysterectomy?
Depending on the type of hysterectomy you have, recovery time will vary. Some procedures are less invasive and require less recovery time, while other techniques and types of hysterectomies may be more invasive, requiring a longer recovery time. General recovery times are as follows:
- Abdominal hysterectomy – about 6 weeks
- Vaginal hysterectomy – about 2 weeks
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy- 2 weeks or less
What Are The Benefits Of A Hysterectomy?
The benefits of undergoing a hysterectomy include helping to resolve uterine-related issues, such as:
- Alleviating abnormal bleeding
- Preventing uterine cancer
- Eliminating other uterine-related medical conditions
Will A Patient Ever Be Denied A Hysterectomy?
Insurance companies can deny a hysterectomy based on not meeting their criteria, but most insurance companies will approve them if the documentation is completed appropriately. That being said, if the patient and her physician feel that is her best treatment option; then she can have the surgery but might have to pay for the care without using her insurance.
Contact Us Today
If you are considering undergoing a hysterectomy or want to learn more about this procedure, schedule an appointment with an Ob/Gyn specialist at Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn. With specialized care and cutting-edge treatments in obstetrics and gynecology, Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn offers a wide variety of gynecologic and obstetric services from leaders in Ob/Gyn research development. Call 937.771.5100 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment.