An abdominal hysterectomy is a surgery which removes the uterus through an incision in lower abdomen. A uterus or womb is a place where a baby grows if anyone is pregnant. A partial hysterectomy removes just the uterus, leaving the cervix intact. A total hysterectomy removes the uterus and the cervix.
General hysterectomy often includes the deletion of one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes, a procedure called a total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy.
A hysterectomy can also be performed through an incision in the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy) or by a laparoscopic or robotic surgical approach which uses long, thin instruments passed through small abdominal incisions.
An abdominal hysterectomy may be preferred over other types of hysterectomy if:
- You are having a large uterus.
- Your doctor wants to check other pelvic organs for signs of disease.
- Your surgeon feels it's in your best interest to have an abdominal hysterectomy.
You may need a hysterectomy to treat:
If anybody is suffering from gynecologic cancer like cancer of the uterus or cervix, hysterectomy may be one of the best treatments option available. Depending on the specific cancer which patient is having and how advanced it is, other options might include radiation or chemotherapy.
A hysterectomy is the specific solution for fibroids, benign uterine tumors that often cause persistent bleeding, anemia, pelvic pain or bladder pressure. Nonsurgical treatments of fibroids are a possibility, depending on the discomfort level and tumor size. Many women with fibroids have minimal symptoms and require no treatment.
In endometriosis, the tissue lining the inside of uterus grows outside the uterus on ovaries, fallopian tubes or other pelvic or abdominal organs. When medication or conservative surgery doesn't improve endometriosis, you might need a hysterectomy along with removal of your ovaries and fallopian tubes (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy).
Descent of the uterus into vagina can happen when supporting ligaments and tissues weaken. Uterine collapse can lead to urinary incontinence, pelvic pressure or difficulty with bowel movements. A hysterectomy is necessary to treat these conditions.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
If the periods of a girl is very high, irregular or prolonged each cycle, a hysterectomy may bring relief when the bleeding can't be controlled by other methods.
Occasionally, surgery is a necessary last resort for women who experience chronic pelvic pain that clearly arises in the uterus. However, a hysterectomy provides no relief from many forms of pelvic pain and an unnecessary hysterectomy may create new problems. Seek careful evaluation before proceeding with such major surgery.
A hysterectomy ends your ability to become pregnant. If you think you might want to become pregnant, ask your doctor about alternatives to this surgery. In the case of cancer, a hysterectomy might be the only option. But for other conditions which includes fibroids, endometriosis and uterine prolapsed - you may be able to try less invasive treatments first.
During the hysterectomy surgery, the surgeon might also perform a related procedure that removes both of your ovaries and your fallopian tubes (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy). You and your doctor should discuss ahead of time whether you need this procedure, which results in what's known as surgical menopause.
With surgical menopause, menopause symptoms often begin suddenly for women after having the procedure done. Depending on how much these symptoms affect your quality of life you may need short-term treatment with hormones.
Hysterectomy is usually very safe but with any major surgery comes the risk of complications.
Risks associated with an abdominal hysterectomy include:
- Blood clots
- Excessive bleeding
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Damage to your urinary tract, bladder, rectum or other pelvic structures during surgery, which may require further surgical repair
- Earlier onset of menopause even if the ovaries aren't removed
- Rarely, death