Hysterectomy is a surgical removal of a woman’s uterus. It may also involve removal of the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes and other surrounding structures. Removal of the uterus renders the patient unable to bear children and will also no longer have periods, regardless of age. The surgery is normally recommended when other treatment options are not available or have failed.
What is Uterus/Womb?
The uterus is a hollow muscular organ that nourishes the developing baby during pregnancy.
Hysterectomies are carried out to treat conditions that affect the female reproductive system
- Uterine fibroids that cause pain, bleeding, or other problems
- Uterine prolapse, which is a sliding of the uterus from its normal position into the vaginal canal
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries
- Endometriosis – growth of the uterine lining outside the uterine cavity.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Adenomyosis, or a thickening of the uterus – where the lining has grown into and sometimes through the uterine wall.
Types of Hysterectomy
- Total hysterectomy – the womb and cervix (neck of the womb) are removed; this is the most commonly performed operation.
- Subtotal / Supracervial hysterectomy: removal of the uterus, leaving the cervix in situ.
- Radical hysterectomy: Also called Wertheim’s Hysterectomy, indicated for cancer. It is the complete removal of the uterus, cervix, upper vagina, and parametrium. Lymph nodes, ovaries and fallopian tubes are also usually removed in this situation.
- Vaginal hysterectomy – where the womb is removed through the vagina. The incision is inside the vagina, the healing time may be shorter than with abdominal surgery. Vaginal hysterectomy causes fewer complications than the other types of hysterectomy and is a very safe way to remove the uterus.
- Abdominal hysterectomy – It is a surgical procedure that removes your uterus through an incision in your lower abdomen. This type of hysterectomy gives the surgeon a good view of the uterus and other organs during the operation or if you have a large uterus.
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy (keyhole surgery) – This is minimally invasive surgery used to remove the womb or the uterus making very small outs or incisions in the abdomen. The primary cut is made in the navel or belly button through which a tiny camera is inserted. The images are then followed by the surgeon on a large screen. The other tiny cuts are made in the lower abdomen through which specialized instruments are inserted. The uterus is removed in small pieces either through the incisions or through the vagina. The ovaries tubes and cervix may also be removed depending upon the causes and reason of surgery.
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