Hysterectomy is surgery to remove the uterus (womb). It can be necessary for a variety of reasons, the most common of which are listed below:
- Management of abnormal periods where other, less invasive attempts at management have not worked;
- To remove the effect of uterine fibroids when fertility is no longer desired;
- Management of pre-cancerous or early cancers involving the lining of the uterus;
- Management of prolapse;
- Management of severe endometriosis type symptoms and fertility is no longer desired.
Hysterectomy can be performed vaginally, laparoscopically (keyhole surgery) or at open surgery (see below). Vaginal hysterectomy is commonly performed when the uterus comes too far down the vagina on coughing or straining. This is often associated with prolapse or laxity of the vagina; repairs of the vagina are often undertaken at the same time. The reason for the hysterectomy will dictate which type of surgery should be undertaken.
A common misconception is that the ovaries must be removed at the time of a hysterectomy. Most of the time, this is not necessary and for women before the age of menopause it is unusual to have to remove the ovaries as they are very important for the maintenance of healthy hormone levels. The team at Marren Campbell & Mackie will explain thoroughly your options and the reasons why one particular type of surgery may be beneficial over another before booking you for your surgery.
Please click here for an excellent summary and video information about hysterectomy.