A hysterectomy is an operation to remove a woman’s uterus. A doctor could recommend this operation for various reasons. However, it is generally the last resort after conservative treatment options have been exhausted.
When will your doctor suggest a hysterectomy?
Your gynaecologist may suggest a hysterectomy in any of the following cases:
If you experience monthly episodes of heavy bleeding, have irregular periods, or if your period runs for too long.
When your uterus descends into your vagina due to weak ligaments or tissues that support your uterus, a condition known as Uterine Prolapse.
Pelvic pain experienced for a long time. However, due to reported cases of patients who have found no relief even after a hysterectomy, this surgery is only suggested upon a detailed evaluation by your doctor.
Cancer of the cervix or uterus, known as Gynecologic cancer.
When the tissue of the inner lining of your uterus grows outside your uterus, on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other pelvic or abdominal organs. This type of disorder is known as Endometriosis.
A uterine tumour that is usually not active but causes persistent bleeding, anaemia, pelvic pain or bladder pressure. This type of tumour is known as Fibroids.
Types of Hysterectomy Procedures
Depending on the reason behind the procedure, a hysterectomy can be carried out in a number of ways. Here is a list of the different types of hysterectomy procedures your doctor may carry out.
Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH), where only the uterus is removed and not the cervix or ovaries. The recovery period lasts from six days to two weeks. Here, you would be allowed to walk but refrain from lifting heavy items around the house.
Vaginal or laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH), where the uterus and the ovaries are removed. This procedure may or may not involve the removal of the fallopian tubes. You could be discharged the next day after the surgery with a recovery period of two weeks. Again, you would be encouraged to walk, but stay away from lifting heavy items.
Robotic hysterectomy, where your doctor will make five small incisions in your abdomen, through which he or she will insert surgical instruments to remove the uterus. Surgical tools are controlled by your doctor with the help of a specialised robotic system. Going home is possible the next day after surgery since this procedure doesn’t cause any major tissue trauma and involves smaller scars.
Abdominal Hysterectomy, where the uterus is removed by making an incision in the lower abdomen. This surgery entails a recovery period of six to eight weeks. You would be strictly advised to take maximum rest which means that you are relieved from household activities until your doctor permits or mostly after the sixth week.
Consult your doctor about when you can resume your sex life with your partner post your hysterectomy procedure.
Probable Side-Effects of a Hysterectomy
There are a few emergency symptoms that can appear after a hysterectomy that you should immediately bring to your doctor’s notice.
If you experience a fever shortly after the procedure or severe pain where the surgery has taken place, pay a visit to your doctor at the earliest. Also, symptoms like heavy bleeding or a strange vaginal discharge, experiencing issues while urinating or making troubled efforts for a bowel movement, having problems while breathing or pain in the chest should be immediately reported.
Your Recovery depends on the Type of Hysterectomy
Removal of the uterus relieves women of symptoms like pelvic pain or bloating in the abdomen. Sex life and libido are generally better when compared to before the hysterectomy.
However, if the ovaries have been removed then the journey gets a bit difficult before it can get easy. You may experience menopausal symptoms if you didn’t have menopause before the procedure. Changes in sexual drive and desire, including vaginal dryness, will be evident. Depending on your doctor’s assessment, you may be given hormone replacement therapy to combat these major bodily changes.