Out of all of the different surgeries that are performed on women in the United States, the hysterectomy ranks second. The only other surgery that is more routinely done than a hysterectomy is a cesarean section. Why is it that this particular operation is such a common one and what can be expected if you have to have a hysterectomy?
There are actually several different types of hysterectomies that can be done on a woman. A complete hysterectomy is whenever the cervix and uterus are both removed at the same time. This is the most common type of hysterectomy that is done in the United States. A partial hysterectomy does not remove the cervix but it does remove the upper parts of the uterus. The third type of hysterectomy is known as a radical hysterectomy. This is not done as frequently but it is seen in some cases of emergency surgery, such as if cancer is present. During a radical hysterectomy, the uterus, upper part of the vagina and cervix are all removed. It is also common for the fallopian tubes and the ovaries to be removed any time a hysterectomy is done.
Hysterectomies are done in several different ways. An abdominal hysterectomy is where the doctor will go in through the abdomen and remove the uterus and any supporting tissue in this way. A vaginal hysterectomy, sometimes referred to as a laparoscopic hysterectomy is where the uterus is removed through the vaginal opening. In either case, a woman will probably be expected to stay in the hospital for a couple of days but the recovery period is much shorter in a vaginal hysterectomy than with one which takes place through the abdomen.
There are several different reasons why women have hysterectomies but some of the most common include cancer, fibroids, persistent pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding. Fibroids are more than likely the reason why a hysterectomy is going to happen but it could also come about as a result of a problem that is known as endometriosis. This is an odd condition in which the lining of the uterus grows outside of the confines of the uterus itself. This is often seen on the ovaries or fallopian tubes. At times, it may be able to be successfully treated with medication but if those medicines do not work, a hysterectomy is often performed.
If your doctor has recommended a hysterectomy, you should make sure that you ask as many questions as necessary in order for you to fully understand the situation. Remember, your doctor is working for you and it is their responsibility to make sure that you are comfortable with whatever treatment they prescribe. There are alternatives that may be given to a hysterectomy so do not simply have the surgery, because it is a common one that is given. Discuss all of the options with your doctor so that you are clear on what ever is going to be done.
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