Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove a woman’s uterus. The surgery may involve removing part of the uterus or the entire uterus depending on the problems experience by a woman. Some operation may also involve removing the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix along with the uterus.
Some of the benefits experiences by women who undergo these surgeries include elimination of painful intercourse, protection from unwanted pregnancy, and decrease in menstruation or period. The side effects experience by women post surgery may include decrease in sexual arousal and absence of uterine contractions during orgasms.
After when woman have hysterectomy she will no longer have periods and she will never be able to get pregnant. The main reason for performing the surgery is to prevent cancer of the cervix, uterus, and ovaries. The surgery is also performed to treat woman who have uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, and dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB).
Cancer of the Cervix
Early stage of cervical cancer may be treated with loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), cryotherapy or laser therapy. LEEP uses electricity to destroy abnormal tissue, cryotherapy involves freezing abnormal cells, and laser therapy uses heat to burn abnormal tissue.
Advance stage of cervical cancer may be treated with radical hysterectomy or pelvic exenteration. Radical hysterectomy involves removing the uterus and the surrounding tissues, the upper part of the vagina and lymph nodes are removed as well. Pelvic exenteration involves removing all the pelvis organs including the bladder and rectum.
Radiation therapy is used to treat recurrence cancer and these include internal or external radiation therapy. Internal radiation therapy involves placing a radioactive device inside the woman’s vagina to remove cervical cancer. External radiation therapy uses beam radiation to remove cancer by directing the beam onto the body where the cancer is present. Chemotherapy may also be used in combination with radiation therapy to treat cervical cancer.
Cancer of the Uterus or Endometrial Cancer
Early stage of endometrial cancer can be treated by surgically removing the uterus. The surgery may also involve removing the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Advance stage of endometrial cancer and recurrence cancer may be treated with radiation therapy in combination with surgery. Chemotherapy may also be used to treat advance stage of endometrial cancer.
All stages of ovarian cancer are treated by surgically removing the uterus. The surgery may also involve removing the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and lymph nodes. Chemotherapy is more likely to be used to treat recurrence cancer. Radiation therapy is less likely to be used to treat ovarian cancer.
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that develop in the uterus. In most women, fibroids usually shrink and cause no symptoms after menopause. Some of the symptoms experience by some women may include heavy bleeding, pain during intercourse, pelvic pain and constipation. Fibroids may be treated with contraceptive method such as oral contraceptives or IUD and if this method failed surgery procedures may be use and these include hysteroscopic resection of fibroids, uterine artery embolization, and myomectomy.
Hysteroscopic resection of fibroids is a procedure involving the use of small camera and instruments that are inserted into the uterus to remove the tumors.
Uterine artery embolization is a procedure that involves stopping blood supply to the fibroids causing it to shrink over time.
Myomectomy is surgical removal of the fibroids. The drawback with this procedure is more fibroids may develop in the future.
Endometriosis occurs as a result of the tissues lining the uterus grows outside of the uterus and onto the ovaries, rectum, bladder, and the surrounding pelvic organs. Pain is the most common symptoms experience by women with endometriosis and these include painful periods, pain during intercourse, pain during bowel movements, and lower back pain. Medication is used to stop the pain and surgery is used to remove endometriosis.
Uterine prolapse occurs as a result of the uterus sliding down into the vaginal canal because the muscles and connective tissues holding the uterus in place have weakened. Some of the causes of this condition include childbirth, lack of estrogen, obesity, and chronic cough. Some of the symptoms experience by some women may include pain during intercourse, frequent need to urinate, bladder infection, low backache, and vaginal bleeding.
Uterine prolapse can be treated with vaginal pessary or surgery. Vaginal pessary involves using a donut-shape device made of plastic or rubber that is inserted into the vagina to hold the uterus in place. Surgery is performed only when prolapse symptoms have worsened overtime. Surgery can be performed without removing the uterus, this procedure is known as sacrospinous fixation that involves using nearby tissues to support the uterus. In most cases, surgery is used to remove the entire uterus.
Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB)
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is caused by abnormal vaginal bleeding due to changes in hormone levels. Some of the symptoms experience by some women may include bleeding, hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. DUB can be treated with contraceptive methods such as birth control pill or IUD. DUB can also be treated with surgery in severe cases where medication failed to treat the symptoms. Surgical procedure known as endometrial ablation or resection is often used that involve removing the lining of the uterus to reduce bleeding.
Types of Hysterectomy
There are different types of surgery that are performed depending on the problems experience by women and these include partial, total, and radical.
Partial or subtotal is a surgery that removes only the upper part of the uterus. The surrounding organs are left in place.
Total or complete is a surgery that removes the entire uterus and the cervix.
Radical is a surgery that removes the uterus, the cervix, and the upper part of the vagina. This operation is performed when cancer is present in these organs.
How is the Operation Performed?
There are different types of operation performed by doctors depending on individual medical history and the types of surgery that can provide maximum benefits with the least possible risks.
Vaginal hysterectomy – This surgery is performed by making a cut in the vagina through which the uterus is removed. This is a less painful operation and it takes shorter time to recover from this operation.
Abdominal hysterectomy - This surgery is performed by making a 5 to 7 inches cut in the lower part of the abdomen through which the uterus is removed. This type of operation takes more time to recover after surgery.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy – This surgery is performed with the use of laparoscope which is a tiny instrument with camera on the end, as the instrument is inserted through tiny abdominal incisions doctor can examine the pelvic organs and remove the uterus through the incision.
assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) - This surgery is performed with
the use of laparoscope as a guide to remove uterus through the vagina.
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