In the United States, more than a third of all women have had a hysterectomy. This makes it the second most common surgical procedure for women.
However, removing your reproductive organs is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and many hysterectomies performed aren’t medically necessary. It’s essential to understand all of your options before undergoing this life-changing procedure.
Our board-certified OB/GYN providers at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG, in Las Vegas, Nevada, want you to be well-informed before deciding to go through with a hysterectomy. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide if you’re wondering if a hysterectomy is the right option for you. Keep reading to learn more.
What exactly is a hysterectomy anyway?
A hysterectomy is a surgery that removes your reproductive organs, but there are several different types of hysterectomies. Total hysterectomies mean that your surgeon completely removes your uterus and cervix. A supracervical or partial hysterectomy leaves your cervix intact.
In some cases, your surgeon may remove other reproductive organs. This is called a radical hysterectomy and may include removing your ovaries or fallopian tubes.
There are serious risks, side effects, and consequences of hysterectomies that can impact your quality of life. These include an increased risk of:
- Early menopause
- Ovarian failure
- Vasomotor symptoms (e.g., hot flashes)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hypertension and stroke
- Urinary tract problems (e.g., incontinence)
- Certain cancers (e.g., thyroid cancer)
- Additional surgery
There is also a higher risk of developing a mental health disorder, like depression, in women who’ve had a hysterectomy.
When should I consider a hysterectomy?
Though hysterectomies have risks, they are often an effective treatment for specific gynecological issues. Hysterectomies are medically necessary when you have a condition that is life-threatening, like:
- Serious complications during labor and childbirth, such as a ruptured uterus
- Invasive cancers (uterine, cervical, vaginal, ovarian, or of the fallopian tubes)
- An infection that isn’t responding to other forms of treatment
- Unmanageable uterine bleeding
A hysterectomy may also be necessary if you have severe pelvic prolapse that doesn’t respond to other therapies or treatments.
What about a single-site umbilical hysterectomy?
A single-site umbilical hysterectomy is an innovative procedure where your surgeon removes your uterus and other organs through a small incision in your belly button.
In this type of hysterectomy, there is less scarring from multiple incisions and, therefore, a more cosmetically pleasing outcome. Additionally, single-site umbilical hysterectomies are outpatient, meaning you won’t need hospitalization.
If you’d like to learn more about your options for hysterectomies, we’ve got you covered. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Darin Swainston, MD. FACOG in Las Vegas, Nevada today.