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February 21, 2017 | OB/GYN
Conception takes place in the uterus, also known as the womb. A number of problems can develop in the uterus, and while medication can be used to treat some symptoms, more serious conditions may require removal of the uterus. This is called a hysterectomy.
Hysterectomy is generally a last resort for noncancerous cases, and your doctor may explore more conservative treatment options before recommending it. However, hysterectomy might be necessary for certain conditions.
There are several conditions that might require a hysterectomy:
Other treatment options are available for some of these conditions. However, in some cases it may be necessary.
There are three general types of hysterectomy, depending on which parts of the uterus and reproductive system are removed:
There are two general techniques a surgeon will use to perform a hysterectomy, depending on factors ranging from health of the patient and her condition to the surgeon’s own level of experience and preference. The two techniques are as follows:
In cases where the ovaries were removed, hysterectomy will trigger menopause. In cases where the ovaries remain intact, women will usually enter menopause at an earlier age than they normally would have. Recovery includes abstaining from sex and lifting heavy objects for about six weeks.
There are a few risks that come with hysterectomy—though rare—and most women find a very high success rate with no complications. Risks include:
If you’re experiencing pain or complications in your reproductive organs, speak to your OB/GYN provider. If hysterectomy is necessary to treat your condition, they can guide you through every step.
“Abdominal hysterectomy.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/abdominal-hysterectomy/home/ovc-20178788
“Hysterectomy.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/hysterectomy#1
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.