When is a Hysterectomy Needed?
Over half a million women each year undergo the procedure for a hysterectomy. As common as this procedure is, it comes with many questions. Luckily, your Annapolis, MD OB/GYN can help you arm yourself with knowledge and determine if a hysterectomy is right for you.
What is a hysterectomy?
The purpose of a hysterectomy is to remove the uterus from a woman’s body. A total hysterectomy removes both the uterus and the cervix while a subtotal hysterectomy only removes the uterus. If a patient has cancer, their doctor performs a radical hysterectomy to remove the uterus, cervix and part of the vagina. This procedure also removes the surrounding tissues. Depending on the situation, the surgeon may also remove the ovaries. A hysterectomy removes the uterus, meaning that after the procedure, a woman can no longer carry a child.
When is a hysterectomy needed?
Some common causes for a hysterectomy include:
- Cancer: Uterine, cervical or ovarian cancers require a hysterectomy to eliminate the cancerous cells and tissues.
- Fibroids: Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous lumps. They grow on the uterus and cause pain, heavy periods, cramping and the unnecessary urge to urinate.
- Endometriosis: When uterine tissue grows outside rather than inside of the uterus, it is diagnosed as endometriosis. This condition causes heavy periods, severe pain and, in some cases, infertility.
- Abnormal bleeding
- Adenomyosis: This condition causes the thickening of the inner lining of the uterus.
What is the procedure for a hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is performed one of two ways: open surgery or minimally invasive surgery. Depending on the situation, your doctor will help you determine which type is best for you. Open surgery involves opening the abdomen and removing the uterus through an incision. Minimally invasive surgery takes advantage of laparoscopic technology. A laparoscope inserted through a small incision, usually in the belly button, allows your doctor to remove the uterus using tiny tools and a camera. This hides the scar inside of the belly button, making it almost unnoticeable. A vaginal hysterectomy allows your Annapolis doctor to remove the uterus through an incision made inside of the vagina, eliminating visible scarring.
For more information on hysterectomies and when they are needed, please contact Dr. Lori Sweitzer, D.O. in Annapolis, MD. Call (410) 266-7755 to schedule your consultation today!