When the uterus is removed surgically, either in full or in part, it is known as a hysterectomy. Hysterectomies are fairly common procedures, with approximately 600,000 women having the procedure each year. Hysterectomies are employed for several conditions and purposes which can include care for:
Unless a hysterectomy is used to treat localized cancer, this procedure is typically only used when other treatments have failed to be successful.
There are 5 main types of surgeries used to remove the uterus. Those include a vaginal hysterectomy, which removes the uterus through that vagina. A laparoscopic supra-cervical hysterectomy which uses three to four small incision to remove the uterus. A laparoscopically-assisted vaginal hysterectomy uses small abdominal incisions and a single vaginal incision. The fourth type of surgery is a robotic-assisted hysterectomy and it uses small abdominal incisions to remove the uterus. Laparoscopic surgeries are often preferred because of the reduced recovery time and risk of scarring. Nonetheless, the most common type of hysterectomy is an abdominal hysterectomy which is like having a C-section.
Following the procedure, if the ovaries were extracted as well, the woman will begin menopause. If the ovaries were left in place it is possible to begin menopause earlier than expected. For 6 weeks following the surgery, women should typically avoid lifting heavy objects and sexual intercourse. The procedure can effectively eliminate several problems and allow the woman to continue with her daily activities without dealing with unwanted symptoms.
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