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All about hysterectomy hysterectomy benefits hysterectomy procedure hysterectomy results risks of hysterectomy abdominal hysterectomy vaginal hysterectomy radical hysterectomy hysterectomy alternatives effects of hysterectomy on sexuality recovery after hysterectomy

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is an operation to remove a woman's uterus (womb). The uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. Sometimes the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and cervix are removed at the same time the uterus is removed. These organs are located in a woman's lower abdomen (see image below). The cervix is the lower end of the uterus. The ovaries are organs that produce eggs and hormones. The fallopian tubes carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.

Having a hysterectomy is major surgery. Deciding to have a hysterectomy should only be made after being given adequate information about why, how and what the consequences may be. It is important that each woman thinks about how she feels about losing her uterus or womb.

There are different types of hysterectomy, which are described according to which organs are removed. A total hysterectomy is the most common operation and this means removal of the uterus and cervix (neck of the womb). A sub-total hysterectomy means the removal of the body of the uterus, leaving the cervix behind. A radical hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus, cervix, a small portion of the upper part of the vagina and some soft tissue from within the pelvis. A radical hysterectomy is only performed in cases of cancer of the cervix by gynaecologists who have received special training.

More information on hysterectomy

What is a hysterectomy? - A hysterectomy is an operation to remove a woman's uterus (womb). A total hysterectomy is the most common operation and this means removal of the uterus and cervix.
When is a hysterectomy necessary? - A hysterectomy is nearly always necessary if a diagnosis of cancer of the cervix or cancer of the uterus is made and is usually recommended if there is ovarian cancer.
What are the hysterectomy procedures? - In a total hysterectomy, the uterus and the cervix are removed. This is the most common kind of hysterectomy, usually performed for uterine and cervical cancer.
How will the patient feel after hysterectomy? - The emotional response after a hysterectomy varies depending on the reason for the operation. For some women there is a sensation of loss, Strong painkillers are prescribed for the first few days following surgery.
What are the risks of hysterectomy operation? - Hysterectomy is generally very safe. Such complications of hysterectomy include blood clots, infection, excessive bleeding or an adverse reaction to the anesthesia.
What is abdominal hysterectomy? - The advantages of an abdominal hysterectomy are that the uterus can be removed even if a woman has internal scarring (adhesions) from previous surgery or her fibroids are large.
What is vaginal hysterectomy? - With a vaginal hysterectomy, the surgeon makes an incision near the top of the vagina. The advantages of hysterectomy are that it leaves no visible scar and is less painful.
What is radical hysterectomy? - Radical hysterectomies are performed on women with cervical cancer or endometrial cancer that has spread to the cervix.
What are the alternatives to hysterectomy? - It is recommended that women consider hysterectomy as a procedure of last resort, when all other treatment options have failed. Other options include medications, endometrial ablation, uterine artery embolization.
Will hysterectomy affect sexuality? - Every person reacts differently, and reactions are a combination of emotional and physical responses. Loss of hormones can cause vaginal dryness and make sex uncomfortable.
Recovery after a hysterectomy - Recovery after a hysterectomy takes time. Increase your activity gradually every day, when you feel capable and aren't in pain.
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