What are the Benefits of a Hysterectomy?

More than 20 million American women have hysterectomies, with about 600,000 procedures performed every year. It’s the second most common surgery performed on women, after Caesarean sections. 

A hysterectomy involves the surgical removal of the uterus. It may also include the removal of the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other nearby structures. Hysterectomies are performed to remove uterine-related problems, such as cancer and fibroids.

The doctors at Southeast Urogyn specialize in performing hysterectomies, particularly laparoscopic approaches that minimize scarring and shorten recovery times. Here are some of the conditions a hysterectomy can treat.

Abnormal bleeding

Occasional heavy menstrual bleeding affects virtually every woman, but for some it can be chronic or heavy enough to disrupt their lives. Abdominal cramps and pelvic pain often accompany bleeding. In extreme cases, a hysterectomy may be the best solution to end pain and bleeding once and for all, although the procedure is usually not considered until other treatments have proven unsuccessful.

Cancer

Cancer of the cervix, endometrium (uterine lining), ovaries, or the uterus could be reason to undergo a hysterectomy. The decision depends on the type of cancer and how advanced it is at diagnosis. In some cases, you may consider a hysterectomy if you have precancerous conditions, so you can minimize the chances of future issues.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. This condition can cause extreme pain due to trapped menstrual blood. Removing the uterus through a hysterectomy would eliminate the source of the misplaced uterine tissue. More conservative treatments are usually performed prior to considering a hysterectomy.

Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are the main reason behind most hysterectomies. Fibroids, which are noncancerous growths in the uterus, can cause abnormally heavy bleeding and pain. If conservative treatments fail to treat the fibroids, or if fibroids regrow, a hysterectomy may be performed. 

Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a bacterial infection that can cause severe pain. While antibiotics can often treat the condition in the early stages, it can spread and damage the uterus. In severe cases, a hysterectomy may be the best way to address PID.

Uterine prolapse

Uterine prolapse is a condition in which the muscles and connective tissues in your pelvis are no longer strong enough to hold your uterus in place, thus allowing your uterus to descend into your vaginal canal. Your chances of getting this condition are higher if you have more than one vaginal birth. 

With the condition, you could experience pelvic pressure, compromised sexual function, and urinary and bowel problems. While symptoms can sometimes respond to exercise or other conservative treatments, a hysterectomy is an option if needed.

To learn more about what’s involved in a hysterectomy and if the procedure could help you, book an appointment over the phone with Southeast Urogyn today.

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