Once a far more common surgical procedure, today we look for alternatives to a hysterectomy before deciding upon this treatment. The hysterectomy is a procedure in which the uterus, or womb, is removed. Depending on the specifics of a case, a hysterectomy may be partial, total, or radical.
In a partial hysterectomy, also called a supracervical hysterectomy, only the uterus is removed. The cervix is left fully intact.
In a total hysterectomy, all parts of the uterus are removed. Additionally, a total hysterectomy will also remove the cervix.
In severe cases of disease, a radical hysterectomy may be necessary. In this procedure, the uterus and its surrounding tissue, the cervix, and the uppermost area of the vagina are all removed.
Various disease conditions may lead to the need for a hysterectomy. Some of the most common include:
The most common condition leading to hysterectomy is uterine fibroids
, tumors within the uterus. Fibroids are non-cancerous, but may, depending on size, press against surrounding organs, and cause pelvic pain, discomfort during sexual intercourse, and undue pressure on the bladder. Due to abnormal bleeding that may accompany uterine fibroids, anemia becomes a concern.
, the second most-common condition leading to hysterectomy, involves the tissue that lines the uterus. When endometriosis occurs, the tissue has grown outside of the uterus and has extended to the organs surrounding the area. A woman with endometriosis is likely to experience heavy and painful periods with abnormal vaginal bleeding, adhesions in the uterus, the development of scar tissue, and infertility.
Some women experience abnormal uterine bleeding
for causes not related to fibroids or endometriosis. Abnormal bleeding may also occur in the presence of hormonal imbalance, cervical infection, polyps, or cancer. Our first approach to abnormal bleeding is to determine the cause so that first-line treatment may begin, such as antibiotics to clear an infection.
Uterine prolapse may bring about the need for a hysterectomy. This condition, which may be caused by childbirth, obesity, hormonal changes, or persistent straining, results in the falling of the uterus into the vagina.
Cancer is far from the first reason a woman may need a hysterectomy, but is a condition that may indeed lead to the surgical procedure. Should cancer be found in the uterus, cervix, ovaries, or fallopian tubes, these organs will be removed as a way from halting progression to other organs.
Using laparoscopic surgical techniques, Dr. Jenkins creates a less-stressful procedure and recovery. To discuss health challenges or schedule a routine check-up, contact us today.
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