If you think you might need a hysterectomy or if one has been recommended for you or someone you love, there are many things to consider. Dr. Harsh Adhyaru, board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at UT Health East Texas Physicians in Jacksonville, shares and answers some of the top questions he has received from his patients regarding hysterectomy.
What happens to my body during and after a hysterectomy?
Total hysterectomy involves removal of the uterus and cervix only. It is mostly combined with another procedure called salpingectomy, which involves the removal of the fallopian tubes to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Removal of an ovary or ovaries, known as an oophorectomy, should be done only if there is any indication. Because ovaries produce important hormones, removing them could have damaging effects on health, such as the increased risk for chronic kidney disease, cognitive decline or dementia, parkinsonism, depression and anxiety, glaucoma, sexual dysfunction and fractures resulting from osteoporosis.
After a hysterectomy, some pain can be expected for the first few days, which can be controlled with medications. Bleeding and discharge from the vagina also can occur for several weeks. Some women may have temporary problems with emptying the bladder after a hysterectomy.
When should I have a hysterectomy?
There are many indications of hysterectomy, including the following:
· Symptomatic fibroids in the uterus (most common reason)
· Abnormal uterine bleeding
· Uterine prolapse
· Gynecologic cancer
· Chronic pelvic pain
What are the side effects?
Hysterectomy is one of the safest surgical procedures. However, as with any surgery, there are associated risks, which may include:
· Fever and infection
· Heavy bleeding during or after surgery
· Injury to the urinary tract or nearby organs
· Blood clots in the leg that can travel to the lungs
· Breathing or heart problems related to anesthesia
Will I need to take hormone replacements after a hysterectomy?
Having a hysterectomy does not automatically require hormone replacement unless both ovaries were removed in a premenopausal woman or if bothersome menopausal symptoms occur after the onset of natural menopause.
If you have additional questions and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Harsh Adhyaru, call 903-541-5396. To find a women’s health provider in your area, visit UTHealthEastTexasDoctors.com/Womens or call 903-596-DOCS (3627).