A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove part or all of a woman’s uterus. Many people don’t know, however, that there are different types of hysterectomy procedures. Being knowledgeable about each procedure and what is involved is the first step toward preparing yourself or supporting a loved one through surgery.
There are several types of hysterectomies, each categorized by what is removed. It’s important to understand the difference before speaking to your physician about any plans for surgery. The types are:
Some women worry they will be unable to enjoy sex after one of these procedures. In most cases, the surgery does not affect the patient’s sexual desire or function and might even increase libido. There may be hormonal issues with ovary removal, which can lead to vaginal dryness, however, estrogen therapy is an effective way to combat this.
Your healthcare professional can answer any questions before the surgery begins. Your physician will thoroughly explain the procedure and list possible side effects or complications. Blood and urine tests are taken and an IV will be placed. You may also be given an enema to cleanse the bowel and/or be shaved prior to the surgery.
General anesthesia (fully asleep) and regional anesthesia (localized numbness) are both options, depending on your provider, the procedure, and individual needs. The incision is made in your abdomen or vagina, contingent on the results of your pelvic exam. The procedure lasts from one to three hours.
Once discharged from the hospital, most women can resume normal activities with minimal downtime. Resuming activities such as swimming, travel, and intercourse will be determined by your physician based on your individual recovery. Full recovery time for most patients is six weeks.
For additional questions, speak with your doctor at Women’s Medical Associates of Nashville.