A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Removing the uterus renders the patient unable to bear children (as does removing ovaries and fallopian tubes) and changes her hormonal levels considerably. This type of surgery is usually recommended for only a few specific circumstances:
- Certain types of reproductive system cancers (uterine, cervical, ovarian) or tumors.
- As a prophylactic treatment for those with a strong family history of reproductive system cancers (especially breast cancer in conjunction with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation) or as part of their recovery from such cancers.
- Severe and intractable endometriosis (overgrowth of the uterine lining) and adenomyosis (a more severe form of endometriosis, where the uterine lining has grown into and sometimes through the uterine wall) after pharmaceutical and other non-surgical options have been exhausted.
- Postpartum to remove either a severe case of placenta praevia (a placenta that has either formed over or inside the birth canal), placenta accreta (a placenta that has grown into and through the wall of the uterus to attach itself to other organs), and as a last resort in case of excessive postpartum bleeding.
If you have been told you need a hysterectomy, call us. Our staff is well-trained and experienced in hysterectomies, and we’re here to help.
Why is a hysterectomy done?
Hysterectomy is used to treat many women’s health conditions. Some of these conditions include:
- uterine fibroids (this is the most common reason for hysterectomy)
- pelvic support problems (such as uterine prolapse)
- abnormal uterine bleeding
- chronic pelvic pain
- gynecologic cancer
What are some important things I should know about recovery?
Follow your surgeon’s instructions. Get plenty of rest, but you also need to move around as often as possible. Take short walks and gradually increase the distance you walk every day. It would help if you did not lift heavy objects until your surgeon says you can. Do not put anything in your vagina during the first six weeks. That includes douching, having sex, and using tampons.
After you recover, you should continue to see your obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) for routine gynecologic exams and general health care. Depending on the reason for your hysterectomy, you may still need pelvic exams and cervical cancer screening.
What should I expect after having a hysterectomy?
You can expect to have some pain for the first few days after the surgery. You will be given medication to relieve pain. You will have bleeding and discharge from your vagina for several weeks. Sanitary pads can be used after the surgery. Constipation is common after most hysterectomies. Some women have temporary problems with emptying the bladder after a hysterectomy.
Other effects may be emotional. It is not uncommon to have an emotional response to a hysterectomy. You may feel sad that you can no longer bear children or feel relieved that your former symptoms are gone.
Celebration Obstetrics & Gynecology
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410 Celebration Place Suite 208
Celebration, FL 34747
2209 North Blvd, Ste. C
Davenport, FL 33837