According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hysterectomies are the second most common surgical procedure among women. If you’ve heard of the term “hysterectomy” from medical articles, doctors or even your friends, it can sound intimidating. You might not know what the surgery entails or what life after the surgery looks like, but having the right information can set your mind at ease.
What is a Hysterectomy?
For those who don’t know, a hysterectomy is essentially the surgical removal of the uterus. There are typically three types of hysterectomies:
- Subtotal – the body of the uterus is removed, but the cervix remains
- Total – both the body of the uterus and the cervix are removed
- Radical – the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed
Thanks to the help of new minimally invasive robotic hysterectomy technology and laparoscopic technology, All About Women OB/GYNs and gynecologists are now able to provide complex surgical procedures with quicker recovery time, less scarring and fewer complications.
Most hysterectomies are performed with general anesthetics, so you will be asleep for the entire 2-3 hour procedure. There are a number of ways doctors can perform a hysterectomy, and the details of the surgery will depend on why you’re having the surgery. Since it is a major surgery, it’s important to discuss the options with your doctor.
After surgery, you will be asked to stay in the hospital at least 1-2 nights so they can monitor you for infection, give you medication for the pain, and assist as you move about after surgery. It’s normal to have vaginal bleeding and discharge after a hysterectomy, so you may have to wear sanitary pads for several weeks.
Life After a Hysterectomy
Certain aspects of your life will change after a hysterectomy. For instance, you will no longer have your period, and without your uterus (womb) you will no longer be able to get pregnant. If your ovaries are not removed, menopause will not be affected. If your ovaries are removed during the surgery, there will be a drastic decrease in your hormone levels and you may begin menopause right away.
On the other hand, many things will return to normal after you have recovered. You will have an improved quality of life without the symptoms that caused the surgery in the first place. If you had a healthy sex life before surgery, you will be able to maintain it afterward once your body heals. Many women have even experienced increased sexual pleasure after a hysterectomy.
If you’re having abdominal pain, schedule an appointment today, and always remember that our Florida OB/GYN physicians are here to help. Also, check out our blog and knowledge center for more information on women’s health.