Hysterectomy is defined as the surgical removal of the uterus. The cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other surrounding structures may also be removed.
Hysterectomy comes in a variety of forms. The surgery depends on the patient's medical condition, how much of the womb and reproductive system can be safely kept in place.
It is mostly done for cancerous patients and rarely on non-cancerous patients if various other treatments have already been tried. There are various other reasons for which the surgery is done which may include:
- Abnormal Vaginal bleeding
- Chronic discomfort in the pelvic area
- Adenomyosis, or uterine thickening (a condition in which the uterus thickens)
- Uterine Fibroids
- Uterine Prolapse
Types of Hysterectomy:
The following are the most common types of hysterectomies:
- Complete Hysterectomy: The uterus and cervix (womb's neck) are removed in a complete hysterectomy, which is the most common treatment.
- Subtotal Hysterectomy: In this type, the womb's main body is removed, but the cervix remains.
- Radical Hysterectomy: In this type, there is the removal of the womb and associated tissues, which includes the fallopian tubes, a portion of the vagina, the ovaries, lymph glands, and fatty tissue.
Risks associated with Hysterectomy:
The majority of people who have a hysterectomy experience face no substantial difficulties or consequences due to the procedure. Nonetheless, there are certain risks associated with this surgery,
- Urinary incontinence is a symptom of urinary incontinence
- Prolapse of the vaginal canal (part of the vagina coming out of the body)
- Formation of a vaginal fistula (an abnormal connection that forms between the vagina and bladder or rectum)
- Long-lasting pain
- Wound infections, blood clots, bleeding, and harm to neighbouring organs are among the possible side effects of hysterectomy, although these are infrequent
The hysterectomy can be done in three ways by surgeons:
- Vaginal hysterectomy: This procedure removes the uterine through the vaginal canal, eliminating the need for external incisions and leaving no visible scarring. Vaginal hysterectomy is the most preferred type of hysterectomy.
- In an abdominal hysterectomy, a surgeon removes the uterus through a tiny incision below the belly button. Compared to a vaginal hysterectomy, this form of hysterectomy involves a lengthier recovery period.
- A surgeon inserts a laparoscope (a long, thin tube with a light and high definition camera on end) via a small incision in the belly button to perform a laparoscopic-assisted hysterectomy. With the laparoscope, they will find the uterus and cut it into small pieces, which they will remove through two or more incisions in the abdomen.
Recovery from Hysterectomy:
The length of time it takes to recover varies with the type of surgery. On average, most patients recover from a uterine or laparoscopic hysterectomy in 3-4 weeks, while an abdominal hysterectomy takes 4-6 weeks.
Within 4-6 weeks, people should resume their normal activities, but before returning to severe exercise, one should consult the doctor.
Some easy necessary steps for recovery are as follows:
- Rest, but don't spend the entire day on the couch - gentle activity and walking are suggested following the surgery.
- Do not lift anything too heavy.
- Avoid sexual intercourse
- Hormone levels must be checked regularly.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a healthy, balanced Nutritious diet.