A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the uterus. There are three primary types of hysterectomy that your doctor may recommend based on your medical needs. They include:
- Total Hysterectomy – This procedure includes removal of the uterus and cervix.
- Subtotal Hysterectomy – This procedure includes removal of the uterus only, leaving the cervix intact.
- Radical Hysterectomy – This procedure involves removal of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and support structures. Lymph nodes may also be removed.
Why Do I Need a Hysterectomy?
The idea of having a hysterectomy may sound frightening. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that around 600,000 women in America have hysterectomies each year. This procedure is one of the most common surgeries women undergo in the country. It is done for multiple reasons, including:
- Prolapsed uterus
- Cancer found in the cervix, ovaries, or womb
- Heavy periods that are often caused by fibroids
- Pelvic pain due to fibroids, adenomyosis, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Medically Necessary vs. Elective Hysterectomies
Out of those 600,000 women quoted by the CDC, an estimated 20% to 30% or more have a medically unnecessary hysterectomy. Women with endometrium issues like polyps, fibroids, and heavy bleeding may choose to have the surgery to relieve discomfort.
A prolapsed uterus happens when the pelvic organs descend due to weakened ligaments or muscles. This can lead to problems with intercourse, increased discharge, constipation, cosmetic issues, and discomfort. Women can choose to have a uterine suspension or a hysterectomy to correct the problem.
In cases involving cancer, a hysterectomy may be deemed medically necessary if the patient has progressed to an advanced stage. The procedure can be used to treat cervical, ovarian, uterine, and fallopian tube cancer.
Your OB/GYN can provide more insight into whether a hysterectomy is the best option for you. Contact your gynecologist at Women’s Health and Menopause Center today to make an appointment.
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