What is a hysterectomy?

Posted by GPWHC on 11 January 2017

Have you ever wondered if you will need a hysterectomy one day?  Have you wondered what it is, or what side-effects you may experience if you have one? 

A hysterectomy is a very common surgery for women, and is the removal of the uterus, making you unable to become pregnant.  Other organs or tissue may also be removed, such as your ovaries and/or fallopian tubes depending on your particular case.  Ovaries and/or fallopian tubes are often removed if there is a risk of cancer, or abnormalities are detected. 

A hysterectomy is performed to treat several health conditions, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic support problems, abnormal bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, and several gynecologic cancers. 

A hysterectomy can be performed with three different surgical options, which your doctor will decide based on your health history, and the reasons you are having the procedure done.  In a vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed through the vagina, and there is no abdominal incision.  Recovery time is usually fastest, and the risk of complications is generally lowest for this type of surgery.  A laparoscopic hysterectomy requires a few small incisions in your abdomen, and the uterus is removed in small pieces or through the vagina.  An abdominal hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus through an incision in the lower abdomen, and is often done if adhesions are present, or the patient has a large uterus.  The risk of complications is greater, and the recovery and hospital stay are typically longer than the other two surgical options. 

Hysterectomies are generally considered safe, and are very common, but every surgery comes with risks and possible side effects.  The practitioners at Great Plains Women’s Health can provide guidance and assistance with the decision to have a hysterectomy, as well as perform the surgery and care afterward.




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Involving Your Partner in Your Pregnancy
5 things you need to know before you start trying to conceive


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