Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that partially or completely removes a woman’s uterus. This is a common surgical procedure that can be necessary for various reasons. Cancer is one of the main reasons for a hysterectomy. The decision is usually made based on the progression of the disease. Hysterectomy may also be necessary for uterine fibroids if they cannot be removed without affecting the uterus.
Endometriosis, abnormal vaginal bleeding, uterine prolapse and adenomyosis are also possible causes of a hysterectomy. With any of the above diseases, hysterectomy is basically the last solution after all other treatment options have been explored. If nothing else works, surgery is considered. In very rare cases, a hysterectomy is required in women with a caesarean section and excessive bleeding. Bleeding is usually controlled by other methods, but in some severe cases, uterine removal is the only possible solution.
There are three types of hysterectomy, depending on how much uterus is actually removed. The first, called a subtotal hysterectomy, means that the surgeon removes the upper part of the uterus, but the cervix is not affected by the procedure. Total hysterectomy is so called because it involves the complete removal of the uterus and cervix. The most serious form of hysterectomy is the radical form. This leaves the woman without a uterus, cervix and upper part of the vagina. It is only used for very serious diseases such as advanced cancer. Depending on the cause of the hysterectomy, this can sometimes be accompanied by removal of the ovaries.
Like any operation, hysterectomy also carries certain risks. These should be discussed with the doctor before the operation. Early menopause occurs in women who have had their ovaries removed. Other complications that can occur include infections, allergic reactions to medicines, blood clots that reach other organs, or side effects caused by anesthesia.
There are many options regarding how the hysterectomy is performed. Abdominal hysterectomy is the most common. It is made through an incision in the abdomen. Other methods of removing the uterus are the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy) or using the laparoscope. The laparoscopic procedure can be done either through a small incision in the abdominal area or through a small incision in the vagina. There is also a robot-assisted hysterectomy that is very similar to laparoscopy, except that a robotic system is used instead of a laparoscope.