What Is a Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus.The uterine lining is the source of menstrual blood. You may need a hysterectomy for many reasons. The surgery can be used to treat a number of chronic pain conditions as well as certain types of cancer and infections.

The extent of a hysterectomy varies depending on the reason for the surgery. In most cases, the entire uterus is removed. Once you’ve had a hysterectomy, you’ll stop having menstrual periods. You’ll also be unable to get pregnant.

Why Is a Hysterectomy Performed?

hysterectomy may be suggest if you have any of the following:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Uncontrollable vaginal bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries
  • Fibroids, which are benign tumors that grow in the uterus
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease, which is a serious infection of the reproductive organs
  • Uterine prolapse, which occurs when the uterus drops through the cervix and protrudes from the vagina
  • Endometriosis, which is a disorder in which the inner lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterine cavity, causing pain and bleeding
  • Adenomyosis, which is a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus grows into the muscles of the uterus

Recovering From A Hysterectomy

What can slow down my recovery?

    It can take longer to recover from a hysterectomy if:

  • You had health problems before your operation; for example, women with diabetes may heal more slowly and may be more prone to infection. You smoke – smokers are at increased risk of getting a chest or wound infection during their recovery, and smoking can delay the healing process.

  • You were overweight at the time of your operation – if you are overweight, it can take longer to recover from the effects of the anaesthetic and there is a higher risk of complications such as infection and thrombosis.

  • There were any complications during your operation. Recovering after an operation is a very personal experience. If you are following all the advice that you have been given but do not think that you are at the stage you ought to be, talk with your GP.

When should I seek medical advice after an abdominal hysterectomy?

While most women recover well after an abdominal hysterectomy, complications can occur – as with any operation.

You should seek medical advice from the hospital where you had your operation, if you experience:

  • Burning and stinging when you pass urine or pass urine frequently: This may be due to a urine infection. Treatment is with a course of antibiotics.

  • Vaginal bleeding that becomes heavy or smelly: If you are also feeling unwell and have a temperature (fever), this may be due to an infection or a small collection of blood at the top of the vagina called a vault haematoma. Treatment is usually with a course of antibiotics. Occasionally, you may need to be admitted to hospital for the antibiotics to be administered intravenously (into a vein). Rarely, this blood may need to be drained.

  • Red and painful skin around your scars: This may be due to a wound infection. Treatment is with a course of antibiotics.

  • Increasing abdominal pain: If you also have a temperature (fever), have lost your appetite and are vomiting, this may be due to damage to your bowel or bladder, in which case you will need to be admitted to hospital.

  • A painful, red, swollen, hot leg or difficulty bearing weight on your legs: This may be due to a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If you have shortness of breath or chest pain or cough up blood, it could be a sign that a blood clot has travelled to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). If you have these symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately.