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Hysterectomy - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

The word 'Hysterectomy' is derived from its Greek root 'Hysteria' which means the womb and 'Ektomia' implying to cut out of. A Hysterectomy surgery concerns the surgical removal of a woman's uterus. It can also mean the surgical removal of the uterus, ovaries and the cervix. So technically, a Hysterectomy surgery means that the woman can never be a biological mother again.

This type of a surgery, which is one of the most common gynaecological procedures performed, does become important in certain scenarios. It can either be a total (removal of the uterus along with the cervix) or a partial (removal of the uterus but not the cervix).

A Hysterectomy surgery can be carried out for the following reasons: uterine fibroids (the common non-cancerous growths on the uterus muscles), uterine prolapse (a benign condition wherein the uterus drops into the vagina from its usual spot), endometriosis (a condition characterized by the growth of the uterus lining tissues outside the uterus), cancer and hyperplasia ( thickening of the uterus lining resulting in bleeding).

Other reasons include pelvic pain that is chronic, chronic PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) and heavy, persistent bleeding.

How is the treatment done?

A Hysterectomy Surgery usually takes about two hours at the maximum. General anesthesia is administered after which, an IV catheter will be inserted to supply medications and other fluids.

The process of hysterectomy depends on the type of the surgery. In the case of abdominal hysterectomy, first, an incision (either transverse or vertical) of about 7 inches is made in the lower abdomen. The supportive tissues and the blood vessels around the uterus are excised and then the uterus is taken out through the incision. Finally, the incision is closed. A major advantage of this type is that hysterectomy can be performed even if there is scarring or presence of large fibroids. In the case of vaginal hysterectomy, an incision is made around the top of the woman's vagina. After the ligaments, fallopian tubes and the blood vessels are cut off, the uterus is taken out through the vagina. The advantage here is that scarring is minimal with almost no operative pain. The patient can resume normal activities within a month. However, the chances of complications are more in the case of a vaginal hysterectomy. In the case of Laparoscopically assisted vaginal Hysterectomy, the same procedure is followed with a laparoscope assisting the doctor.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

The Hysterectomy surgery is opted for only if other methods haven't been able to provide results. The most common eligibility criteria include:

  • Heavy periods: Often caused by the presence of fibroids, heavy periods can pose other problems such as menstrual cramps, irritability and nausea.
  • Uterine prolapse: This is characterized by the uterus dropping into the vagina as a result of the weakening of the supportive ligaments and tissues.
  • Pelvic pain: This can be because of endometriosis, adenomyosis, incomplete treatment of PIDs and/or fibroids.
  • Cervical or ovarian cancer

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

There are no non-eligibility criteria as such, however:

  • The woman should talk it out with the doctor regarding her sex life post hysterectomy as a woman's libido could take a beating and also suffer from sexual dysfunction.
  • Also, if the woman is running a temperature, the surgery should not be carried out.

Are there any side effects?

The possible side effects include:

  • Damage to the surrounding organs
  • Problems related to anesthesia, such as heart or breathing problems
  • Formation of blood clots in the lungs or legs
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infections
  • Premature menopause in case the ovaries have been removed as well
  • Pain during engaging in sexual intercourse

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The basic post-operative guidelines are:

  • The woman should avoid lifting any heavy weight post surgery.
  • The woman must also avoid bathing in tubs for a period of about 5-6 weeks post surgery.

How long does it take to recover?

For an abdominal hysterectomy, complete recovery can take about a month to 8 weeks. However, for vaginal/laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomies, the downtime is much shorter; about 1-2 weeks.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of hysterectomy in India will range between Rs.1,82,000 to Rs.2,40,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Yes, a Hysterectomy surgery offers a permanent solution to the treatment of fibroids.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Some of the alternatives to Hysterectomy include embolization, endometrial ablation, and myomectomy.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have multiple fibroids. 5.5 cm subserosa noted fundus of uterus left side, 4.5 cm submucosa fibroid posterior wall body of uterus, 3 cm fibroid noted right side posterior wall lower body. Is hysterectomy the only option?

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FMAS, DMAS, Fellowship in Assisted Reproductive technology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gynaecologist, Burhanpur
Hello, you can opt for progesterone only pills to stop your menses and stopping menses would take you to nearing menopause and would also halt the fibroid growth.

Am 37 years old women recently I gave birth to a baby boy he is 8 months ,via c sec second tym ,after 6 months of c sec I got my periods back with heavy bleeding not so much but more than normal ,i got my periods after 10 months after my first baby ,i had an ultrasound which shows small fibroids maximum about 1.6x1.3 mm doc gave me sysron 5 mg for 20 days, will my fibroid shrink or will I get my normal periods back. please reply am worried as both my sister and mother had done with hysterectomy because of fibroids and am scared of fibrous?

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FMAS, DMAS, Fellowship in Assisted Reproductive technology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gynaecologist, Burhanpur
Hello, fibroids presently are small and can be controlled by being on progesterone only pills. Butas long as the menses would arrive, they would keep growing. So the aim should be to stop menses with progesterone only pills. But if you wish your m...

I have been suggested for the hysterectomy operation by doctors. Will the blood loss after operation will stop or it will continue for some days and if it continues then for how many days?

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Once the uterus is removed there is no bleeding like menstrual period at all. Just because of surgery slight bleeding may happen for a couple of days.

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MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery,Diploma In Gynaecology & Obstetrics,DGO,DNB - Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gynaecology
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