The decision to have a hysterectomy can be highly emotional, challenging, and frightening. At Capital Women’s Care in Leesburg and Sterling, Virginia, women can find a safe space to explore their options with a qualified team of OB/GYN physicians. To navigate this major surgery with comfort, ease, and confidence, schedule an appointment today.
What is a hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the uterus. In some cases, you might also opt to remove your ovaries during the surgery.
There are numerous different health reasons why a hysterectomy might be necessary, and there are a variety of surgical approaches, including:
As the least complicated type of hysterectomy, this procedure involves removing the uterus through the vaginal canal. This is the recommended method for most women if they are candidates for it. Sometimes it is performed partly laparoscopically and the remainder vaginally.
In this procedure, your physician makes an incision in your lower abdomen and removes your uterus. Very large uteruses, those suspicious for cancer, or those women with a lot of scar tissue in their abdomen may require this approach.
Through small incisions in your abdomen, your physician inserts a laparoscope, or tiny camera, into the pelvic region. Then, using surgical instruments, she removes the uterus in pieces through your vaginal canal or the abdominal incisions.
Why is a hysterectomy needed?
There are a number of different health reasons why a hysterectomy might be needed, including:
- Endometriosis or Adenomyosis. With these conditions, endometrial glands grow outside of the uterus or inside the muscle of the uterine wall , which can cause many reproductive health complications.
- Uterine fibroids. These benign tumors can contribute to heavy or painful periods or discomfort in the pelvic region, or can contribute to pregnancy difficulties.
- Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB). If you suffer from excessive bleeding during your period, or in between your periods, a hysterectomy is curative.
- Chronic pelvic pain. In cases where you have pelvic prolapse or have pelvic pain, removal of your uterus can often ease discomfort.
- Gynecologic cancer. If you have ovarian cancer or some other type of cancer in the reproductive organs, a hysterectomy might be necessary.
What can I expect after a hysterectomy?
As a major surgery, you can expect to experience pain and swelling during the first few days after the procedure. You’ll most likely have tenderness, bleeding, and discharge for several weeks, and you might have temporary issues with bladder control or constipation.
Many women also experience an emotional reaction to having a hysterectomy, as it marks the end of your ability to conceive. Some women also worry that it will adversely affect their sexual function, which is usually NOT actually an issue. It is important to give yourself plenty of time to rest and recuperate, both physically and emotionally.
If you’re considering this type of surgery, the team at Capital Women’s Care can help you navigate the process easily.
Book an appointment to see a qualified physician today.