Hysterectomy Q & A
What is a hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the uterus. If possible, surgeons leave the fallopian tubes and ovaries in place to avoid the onset of menopause. However, depending on the condition that led to hysterectomy, the surgeon may remove these reproductive organs as well, resulting in surgical menopause.
Symptoms related to menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats, generally occur rapidly and may be more intense than those associated with natural menopause. Recovery from the procedure itself depends on the type of hysterectomy your surgeon chooses, such as abdominal versus laparoscopic. It may be 4-6 weeks before you can resume normal activities.
What conditions lead to hysterectomy?
Medical conditions that may result in hysterectomy include:
- Endometriosis, a condition that’s caused when endometrium tissue lining the uterus grows outside of the womb
- Uterine prolapse that occurs when the uterus drops down into the vagina
- Abnormal noncancerous growths in the uterine wall known as fibroids
- Excessively heavy or frequent vaginal bleeding caused by uterine fibroids, changes in hormone levels, infection, cancer
- Thickening of the uterine walls due to adenomyosis that causes severe pain and bleeding between periods
- Cancer or precancerous conditions involving the reproductive organs
Are there treatments other than hysterectomy?
There are alternatives available to treat some of the conditions that lead to hysterectomy. After they’ve reviewed your history and spent time discussing your concerns, the team at OB/GYN Associates of Miami may recommend you try:
- Hormonal manipulation with birth control to decrease heavy periods
- Medication: For the pain associated with endometriosis
- Pessary for uterine prolapse: A device inserted vaginally that holds the uterus in place
- Laparoscopic surgery: To remove endometrium and scar tissue from the outside of the uterus and other areas while maintaining your ability to become pregnant
- Myomectomy: To remove uterine fibroids but leave the uterus in place
- Myolysis: To shrink fibroids without removing the uterus
What happens after a hysterectomy?
The practitioners at OB/GYN Associates of Miami actively participate in your care before and after surgery. They specialize in treating the medical concerns as well as emotional responses that often occur after hysterectomy, such as mood swings, increased risks for developing heart disease following menopause, and other issues that can affect your vitality and health. They’ll develop a plan that’s patient-centered and offers you the best options for overcoming the challenges associated with hysterectomy.
To find out if a hysterectomy is the right step for you, call OB/GYN Associates of Miami or book an appointment online today.