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Hysterectomy: what it is, risks and recovery

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure performed on women in which the uterus is totally or partially removed, although the fallopian tubes and ovaries can also be removed. This surgery is used to treat pathologies associated with the uterus, which can feed the fetus during pregnancy. It should be noted that after undergoing this procedure, you will not have menstrual cycles, and you will not be able to get pregnant. At FastlyHealwe explain what Hysterectomy is, its risks, and recovery.

What is Hysterectomy

It is surgery to remove the uterus, although your doctor will tell you if the fallopian tubes and ovaries need to be removed. If your ovaries are removed, this will lead to menopausal symptoms. Hysterectomy is an invasive surgical process that is carried out in pathologies such as those that we will explain below:

  • Uterine fibroids: Benign growths on the uterus wall cause bleeding and severe pain.
  • Adenomyosis thickens the tissue that lines the uterus, causing severe pain and bleeding.
  • Severe endometriosis, which has not improved with other treatments.
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding: caused by infections, fibroids, or hormonal changes.
  • Uterine prolapse: when the uterus moves out of place and slides into the vagina. It is common in women who have had multiple vaginal deliveries and causes urinary and bowel problems.
  • Cancer of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, or endometrium: Hysterectomy is usually the best treatment for these cases.

Types of Hysterectomy

Keep in mind that Hysterectomy is the last treatment option. Everything will depend on the severity of the pathology and if it has not improved with other treatments. There are three types of Hysterectomy:

  • Total Hysterectomy: it is the most used procedure. In this case, the uterus and cervix are removed. At this point, removing the fallopian tubes and ovaries is optional.
  • Partial Hysterectomy: the upper part of the uterus is removed, and it will be evaluated if the ovaries will also be removed.
  • Radical Hysterectomy: This procedure removes the entire uterus, cervix, and tissue on its sides. It is used, especially for some types of cancer. The fallopian tubes and ovaries may or may not be removed.

Risks of Hysterectomy

Before undergoing this surgery, ask your gynecologist about the procedure and the changes it can cause. On the other hand, you must indicate if you take any medications, including supplements and natural remedies.

Before the Hysterectomy, your doctor may tell you the following:

  • If you smoke, avoid doing it.
  • If you take ibuprofen or aspirin, he may ask you to stop taking medicine.
  • Do not drink or eat anything 8 hours before surgery.
  • Take your pre-surgery medications with a sip of water.

Some of the risks of Hysterectomy are:

  • Injury to the bladder.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse due to vaginal dryness.
  • Early menopause, in case the ovaries have been removed.
  • Decreased libido
  • Risk of suffering from heart disease.
  • Depression: Some women experience sadness from losing their fertility or changes in their bodies.

It should be noted that after a hysterectomy, you will likely have to continue to undergo cytology to assess for cervical cancer. This is if your cervix has not been removed or if the surgery was performed for cancer or pre-cancer.


Recovering from a hysterectomy

The recovery from a hysterectomy takes time, but this also depends on the way the surgery has been performed:

  • Abdominal Hysterectomy: 4-6 weeks
  • Vaginal hysterectomy l: 3 to 4 weeks
  • Laparoscopic or robotic Hysterectomy: 2-4 weeks

After the Hysterectomy, you will need to stay in the hospital for two days, although you can be discharged the same day in some cases. If the Hysterectomy was for cancer, you might need to stay in the hospital for longer.

You may have a catheter in your bladder, which will remove urine, and it will be removed after two days. On the other hand, the doctor will ask you to try to do things for yourself, such as getting up, walking, and thus preventing the formation of blood clots. But you must bear in mind that you cannot exert yourself or lift heavy objects for six weeks, starting from the surgery.

You can also resume your sexual life by penetration from week 6 or 12. And in the case of people who have had a hysterectomy for cancer, there may be additional treatment, which the doctor should indicate.

Other recommendations

Take these steps to avoid complications after surgery:

  • Ask your doctor if you can go up and downstairs.
  • Do not drive until the third week after the operation.
  • Don’t put anything in your vagina for the first six weeks, including tampons and douches.
  • Keep the wound area clean.
  • Relieve pain with cold compresses.
  • Take the medications prescribed by your doctor.
  • Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat small meals throughout the day.
  • Drink eight glasses of water a day to avoid constipation.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Hysterectomy: what it is, risks and recovery, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.

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