A hysterectomy is a type of surgery that involves removing a woman’s uterus. A hysterectomy may also be called a “total hysterectomy.” It is performed when uterine fibroids — non-cancerous tumors — grow large enough to cause pain and other symptoms, or when they are cancerous or precancerous. In addition, fibroids may prevent conception. A hysterectomy may also be performed in the case of cervical or endometrial cancer.
A hysterectomy is sometimes done in conjunction with oophorectomy — the surgical removal of a woman’s ovaries. This procedure is called oophorectomy or a salpingo-oophorectomy.
There are several different ways to perform a hysterectomy, including:
Vaginal hysterectomy: This procedure is typically used to treat uterine conditions such as endometriosis or fibroids in women who have not given birth vaginally. During this procedure, your doctor will make an incision in your vaginal opening and lift your uterus up with an instrument called a tenaculum. They will then cut the ligaments that hold your uterus in place so it can be removed through the vagina.
Abdominal hysterectomy: This procedure is used for several reasons, including abnormal bleeding from the uterus, early-stage cervical cancer and when removing both ovaries is necessary. During this procedure, your doctor will make an incision in your lower abdomen and lift your uterus out through the opening. They will then remove the cervix and other uterine tissue.
Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy (TLH) – This is a surgical procedure which is used for removing the uterus of the patient. Through this process, doctors separate the uterus from inside the body and then it is removed in form of small pieces. The pieces are removed from the body through small incisions or directly through the vagina. In order to carry out the surgery, doctors use general anaesthesia on the patient.
Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy ( LAVH) – LAVH is a surgical procedure adopted by doctors to remove uterus or fallopian tubes from the patient with the help of a laparoscope. LAVH is also used for removal of ovaries. In LAVH, uterus, fallopian tubes, or the ovaries are removed directly through the birth canal or vagina. It takes about 1-3 hours to perform the surgery under general anaesthesia.
Many conditions can cause a woman to need a hysterectomy, including fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries, painful periods and endometriosis. Some common symptoms that might signal a hysterectomy are chronic pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding from the vagina, frequent urinary tract infections and the inability to have children.
In many cases, women opt for a hysterectomy because they are unable to tolerate pain caused by endometriosis, fibroids or adenomyosis. The surgery can relieve pressure and pain in the pelvic region. In some cases, it can also reduce or eliminate heavy menstrual bleeding and other symptoms.