Most women in their late forties encounter problems related to reproductive organs, usually in the pre-menopause stage. In such cases, you might have heard that a hysterectomy is performed to reduce the chances of cancer and infections. But what is a hysterectomy? Know all about Hysterectomy in this article.
What is Hysterectomy all about?
Removing all or parts of the uterus using surgery is termed a Hysterectomy. Some parts are the ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes, and other surrounding structures. This issue results in the inability to bear children. Hysterectomy is usually the last resort and not recommended as it is a major surgical process and affects the hormonal balance and overall health of patients.
In cases where other pharmaceutical or surgical options aren’t helpful, a hysterectomy is recommended. It may either improve or worsen one’s sexual life and other problems. Despite the risks and side effects, Hysterectomy is the second most performed surgery by gynecologists.
Who can perform a hysterectomy?
A trained gynecologist can perform a hysterectomy. The most performed surgery by any gynecologist is Caesarean (also known as C- section). According to most gynecologists, it can have risks and long-term side effects; hence, it is prescribed under critical conditions only.
Risk factors and rates.
The risk factors increase if the patient is prone to cancer or pregnant, and so does the mortality rate; for others, the mortality rate is pretty low at about 0.38%. People with a history of pelvic pain may continue to go through the same after a hysterectomy and might experience painful sexual intercourse; this is not the case for everyone.
Some patients have also claimed to have improved sex life and relief from pain. The risk of subsequent cardiovascular diseases is higher for women under 50 since a hysterectomy is a shock to the body, resulting in sharp falls in estrogen levels; This removes the protective effect from the cardiovascular system that estrogen provides, subjecting the body to diseases related to the cardiovascular system.
With the onset of menopause, these hormones fade over time, and the body adjusts to the changes. Hence no such diseases are seen in women who’ve gone through menopause or are over 50.
The process and recovery.
The patient is usually injected with general anesthesia to keep them unconscious during the surgery so they can not feel the pain. A urinary catheter is passed through the urethra to empty the bladder. The catheter stays in place during the surgery until the patient is free to go home. A sterile solution is used to clean the abdomen and vagina before the surgery to avoid the risks of infection.
Hysterectomy can happen in two ways- abdominally and vaginally. In the case of abdominal surgery, the hospital stay is 3-5 days or more, and in the case of vaginal surgery, the required stay duration is 1-2 days or more. Another advice is to avoid penetration for at least six weeks post-surgery; penetration includes inserting tampons and intercourse.
Cases where abdominal Hysterectomy is recommended-
- There are signs of disease in other pelvic organs
- Your uterus is comparatively larger than the average size.
After a hysterectomy, it is normal to experience hot flashes and night sweats. The absence of periods and the ability to get pregnant are things one must go through. Menopause starts post-hysterectomy immediately due to the absence of sex hormones such as estrogen in the ovaries.
What to follow after the surgery?
- The patient is usually prescribed to use sanitary pads for vaginal bleeding and discharge for about 3-4 days post the surgery.
- The patient is also prescribed medicines to reduce the chance of infections and decrease the pain.
- It is also essential to take plenty of rest and not lift anything heavy.
- A light workout is something you can add so your body gets used to the new changes.
- Avoid inserting anything into the vagina for at least six weeks.
That was all you need to know about Hysterectomy. It is however important to consult a doctor before taking further steps.