October 20, 2017

Patient Education

Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy refers to removal of the uterus (or womb).  This can be done with or without removal of the cervix (the opening to the uterus) or the adnexa (tubes and ovaries).  There are a variety of reasons why you might be considering undergoing a hysterectomy. Just a few include problems with abnormal bleeding, fibroids (benign growth on the uterus), endometriosis, uterine or pelvic organ prolapse, or precancerous or cancerous cells.  For many of these conditions, your doctor will likely recommend less invasive treatments first, and if these do not succeed, may suggest that you consider a hysterectomy.

Traditionally, this type of surgery was either performed through a side to side (bikini) or vertical incision on your abdomen or through the vagina. However, there are many more choices today and your doctor will individualize his/her recommendations based on your specific circumstances. In addition to the aforementioned options, your doctor may recommend using laparoscopy to assist with a vaginal hysterectomy, a fully-laparoscopic hysterectomy, or a robotic hysterectomy. It is important to know that all of these choices have pros and cons and that when we make recommendations, they are based on your specific needs.

When we perform a hysterectomy, we usually bring you in to the hospital on the morning of the surgery, and after you have been seen by your doctor, you are taken to the operating room where you are given medication to put you to sleep. Typically, you will have any necessary tests either several days before the procedure, or on the day of surgery. Once the surgery is completed, you are usually watched in the recovery area briefly, and then moved to a private room, where you will be closely monitored. For many types of hysterectomy, you may only spend one night in the hospital. Prior to leaving the hospital, we will make sure that you are on your way to a speedy and healthy recovery and that you know when to come back to the office and how to contact your doctor, should the need arise.