Think you might need a hysterectomy? Read below.
While you're here, why not Try our
Diet Wizard to find out which weight loss
programs can help you lose the weight?
Note: BestDietForMe.com does NOT provide medical advice or
diagnoses. You should always consult your physician first, before beginning any
weight loss regimen or if suffering from a medical condition.
According to the National Women's Health
Information Center, a hysterectomy is an operation
to remove a woman's uterus. The uterus is the place
where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant.
Sometimes, the ovaries and fallopian tubes also are
taken out. Hysterectomies are very common - one in
three women in the United States has had one by age
Your health care provider might recommend a
hysterectomy if you have:
Endometriosis not cured by medicine or surgery
Uterine prolapse - when the uterus drops into
Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries
Vaginal bleeding that persists despite
Chronic pelvic pain; surgery can be a last
Before having a hysterectomy, it is important to
discuss other possible treatments with your health
care provider. A hysterectomy will stop your
periods, and you will no longer be able to get
pregnant. If the surgery removes both ovaries, you
will enter menopause.
Types of hysterectomies:
Complete or total. Removes the
cervix as well as the uterus. (This is the most
common type of hysterectomy.)
Partial or subtotal. Removes the
upper part of the uterus and leaves the cervix in
Radical. Removes the uterus, the
cervix, the upper part of the vagina, and
supporting tissues. (This is done in some cases of
How common are hysterectomies?
A hysterectomy is the second most common surgery
among women in the United States. (The most common
is cesarean section delivery.) Each year, more than
600,000 are done. One in three women in the United
States has had a hysterectomy by age 60.
How is a hysterectomy performed?
Hysterectomies are done through a cut in the
abdomen (abdominal hysterectomy) or the vagina
(vaginal hysterectomy). Sometimes an instrument
called a laparoscope is used to help see inside the
abdomen during vaginal hysterectomy. The type of
surgery that is done depends on the reason for the
surgery. Abdominal hysterectomies are more common
and usually require a longer recovery time.
How long does it take to recover
from a hysterectomy?
Recovering from a hysterectomy takes time. You
will stay in the hospital from one to two days for
postsurgery care. Some women may stay in the
hospital up to four days.
Abdominal. Complete recovery usually
takes four to eight weeks. You will gradually be
able to increase your activities.
Vaginal or laparoscopic. Most women are
able to return to normal activity in one to two
For both, by the sixth week, you should be able
to take tub baths and resume sexual activities.
Why do women have hysterectomies?
Hysterectomy is used to treat:
Fibroids. More hysterectomies
are done because of fibroids than any other
problem of the uterus. For many women with
fibroids, symptoms are minimal and require no
treatment. Also, the fibroids often shrink after
menopause. But fibroids can cause heavy bleeding
or pain in some women.
Endometriosis. This happens
when the tissue lining the inside of your uterus
grows outside the uterus on your ovaries,
fallopian tubes, or other pelvic or abdominal
organs. When medication and surgery do not cure
endometriosis, a hysterectomy often is performed.
Uterine prolapse. This is
when the uterus moves from its usual place down
into the vagina. This can lead to urinary
problems, pelvic pressure, or difficulty with
Cancer. If you have cancer of
the uterus, cervix, or ovary a hysterectomy may be
part of the treatment your doctor recommends.
Persistent vaginal bleeding.
If your periods are heavy, not regular, or last
for many days each cycle and nonsurgical methods
have not helped to control bleeding, a
hysterectomy may bring relief.
Chronic pelvic pain. Surgery
is a last resort for women who have chronic pelvic
pain that clearly comes from the uterus. However,
many forms of pelvic pain aren't cured by a
hysterectomy, and so this approach can be a
Do options other than a
If you have cancer, a hysterectomy might be the
only option. But if you have uterine fibroids,
endometriosis or uterine prolapse, there are other
treatments you can try first.
Drug therapy. Certain
medications may lighten heavy uterine bleeding or
correct uterine bleeding that is not regular.
Certain medications can help with endometriosis.
Endometrial ablation. If you
have heavy or irregular uterine bleeding, this
procedure might ease your symptoms. With a special
device, a doctor uses electricity, heat, or cold
to destroy the lining of your uterus and stop
Uterine artery embolization.
For treating fibroid, this procedure involves
blocking the blood supply to the tumors. Without
blood, the fibroids shrink over time, which can
reduce pain and heavy bleeding.
Myomectomy. If you have
fibroid tumors, this surgical procedure removes
the tumors while leaving your uterus intact.
There's a risk that the tumors could come back.
Vaginal pessary. This
is an object inserted into the vagina to hold the
womb in place. It may be used as a temporary or
permanent form of treatment. Vaginal pessaries
come in many shapes and sizes, and they must be
fitted for each woman individually.
Talk to your doctor about nonsurgical treatments
to try first. Doing so is really important if the
recommendation for a hysterectomy is for a reason
other than cancer.
For More Information
National Women's Health Information Center
Some Other Helpful
- National Institutes of Health (ww.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus)
The information on this web site is intended
for information purposes only and is not
intended as a substitute for medical advice.
Before starting ANY weight loss plan or diet
program you should consult your physician.
All fad diets, diet pills, and rapid weight
loss diet plans should be carefully reviewed
and approved by your physician before you
About Our Service
email this site to a friend
Bookmark this page
2012 Marketdata Enterprises, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.