According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hysterectomy is the second most frequently performed surgical procedure for women in the U.S. Approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year, and approximately 20 million American women have had one. Today we’re discussing 4 important things you need to know about hysterectomy in Arizona.
1. Why must a woman have a hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy is a necessary intervention in the case of:
• Invasive cancer of the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries;
• Unmanageable infection;
• Unmanageable bleeding;
• Serious complications during childbirth, such as a rupture of the uterus.
The three conditions most often associated with hysterectomy are uterine fibroid tumors, endometriosis, and uterine prolapse.
2. What are the different types of hysterectomy in Arizona?
• Partial hysterectomy removes the body of the uterus while the cervix remains in place.
• Total or simple hysterectomy removes the entire uterus and cervix.
• Bilateral hysterectomy removes the uterus, cervix ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
• Radical hysterectomy removes the uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and possibly upper portions of the vagina and affected lymph glands.
A hysterectomy is performed under either general or local anesthetic. Surgical options include:
• Abdominal, which is the most common approach;
• Vaginal, during which your uterus is removed through the vagina;
• Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal, during which your uterus will also be removed through the vagina using three small external incisions.
3. What are the risks?
Death due to hysterectomy occurs in less than one percent of patients. Complications occur in just three to five percent of procedures and may result in infection, hemorrhage during or following surgery, and/or damage to internal organs such as the bowel or urinary tract.
Removal of the uterus and ovaries at a young age (early forties and younger) may increase your risk of heart attack. Hysterectomy has also been associated with urinary problems, sexual function problems, and hormone deficiencies.
Scar tissue may form when the surgeon removes the uterus, ovaries, or both, and the remaining organs begin to form attachments to other organs. Some types of pelvic surgery can cause scar tissue; they are not the consequence of hysterectomies alone. Symptoms from adhesions, such as abdominal pain, usually commence within six months of hysterectomy surgery.
4. What will my recovery look like from hysterectomy in Arizona?
If you are not menopausal and your ovaries remain in place, menstruation will end with the surgery, and you will no longer be able to get pregnant, but you will still have hormonal functions. If the ovaries are removed, your hysterectomy will trigger menopause.
During the first week following the procedure, some light bleeding may occur and, after four to six weeks, there may also be discharge when your stitches fall out. Avoid baths for 10 days after the operation and avoid strenuous physical activity for four to six weeks.
Light activity, such as walking (when you feel ready), is encouraged. Most doctors advise against penetrative sexual activity until six weeks have passed. Generally, a woman needs five to six weeks to recover, though anywhere up to 12 weeks is considered normal.
For many women, a hysterectomy is the answer to their female health concerns. If you would like to know if you are a candidate for hysterectomy in Arizona – or have any questions or concerns regarding the procedure – call our office today to schedule a consultation.