A hysterectomy is a major operation for a woman that's only recommended if other treatment options have been unsuccessful and no other method would work for her specific symptoms.
The most common reasons for having a hysterectomy include:
- heavy periods – which can be caused by fibroids
- pelvic pain – which may be caused by endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) that wasn't fully treated, adenomyosis or fibroids
- prolapse of the uterus
- malignant tumors of the reproductive system
In New York City, you can find the best fibroid surgeon at VIVA EVE, a fibroid treatment center. Whether you need a partial hysterectomy or a total hysterectomy, your gynecologist specializing in fibroids can take care of you.
We are fully aware that the decision to have a hysterectomy is final. It’s an operation to remove your uterus and you can’t undo it. You can rest assured that our team will explore every possible conservative option that can eliminate your symptoms or combat a disease before suggesting it to you.
- Uterine fibroids that cannot be treated by any other less invasive or conservative method
- Endometriosis or abnormal growth of uterine cells
- Uterine prolapse, when your uterus shifts into your vaginal canal
- Adenomyosis or thickening of the uterine wall
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
Types of Hysterectomies
Hysterectomy surgery encompasses several types of procedures. Which type works best for you depends on your condition and the symptoms you’re trying to alleviate. Procedures include:
- Supracervical, subtotal or partial hysterectomy. This surgery involves the removal of your upper uterus, leaving the cervix in place.
- Total hysterectomy. Your fibroid doctor removes the whole uterus, including the cervix.
- Radical hysterectomy. This procedure involves removing your whole uterus and the cervix, as well as the tissue on the sides surrounding your uterus and the top part of your vagina.
If the best fibroid doctor in NYC suspects cancer or if endometriosis symptoms pose a health risk, you may need to have your ovaries removed in an oophorectomy, your fallopian tubes removed in a salpingectomy, or both. Without your ovaries, you can’t get pregnant and you’ll enter early menopause.
Techniques for Hysterectomy Surgery
Depending on several factors — your overall health, the reasons behind your surgery and your fibroid specialist’s experience — several techniques can be used to perform your hysterectomy:
- Traditional open surgery. Involving a five- to seven-inch incision in your abdomen, this surgery is done about 65 percent of the time. Removal of your uterus through the incision leaves a visible scar and requires a two- to five-day stay in the hospital.
- Minimally invasive procedures (MIP). These three surgery techniques strive to reduce hysterectomy recovery time and your hospital stay:
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy, surgery performed through one or more small incisions
- Vaginal hysterectomy, involving a small cut in your vagina and removing your uterus through the opening
- Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy, using a small camera's guidance for vaginal surgery
- Robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy, using a computer-guided system to perform the hysterectomy
Benefits of MIP Hysterectomy
While all the techniques are forms of major surgery, the MIP techniques offer some distinct benefits, such as:
- A shorter hospital stay
- Faster hysterectomy recovery
- Less noticeable or no scarring
- Less pain
- Lower chance of an infection
- Lower costs, unless robotics are involved
- Less risk of incisional hernia
After a MIP, you can resume your daily activity in three to four weeks, rather than four to six weeks of recovery from traditional surgery. If you have significant scar tissue, are obese or have other serious health concerns, you may not be a good candidate for a MIP. Talk to the best fibroid surgeons in NYC at the VIVA EVE team to discuss your fibroid treatment options.
Risks of Hysterectomy Surgery
All major surgeries entail risk. Awareness of these risks helps your decision-making process. Risks, whether you get a partial hysterectomy or a total hysterectomy, may include:
- Vaginal prolapse
- Urinary incontinence
- Chronic pain
- Wound infections
- Injury to surrounding tissue or organs, such as your bladder, intestines or blood vessels
- Blood clots or hemorrhage
- Fistula formation, an abnormal connection forming between your vagina and bladder, often from scar tissue
These risks aren’t common, and you best chance to have a smooth and uneventful recovery is to choose a center that specalizes in all the procedures related to the uterus, such as one at the VIVA EVE fibroid clinic in Forest Hills.
Hysterectomy Recovery After Surgery
Depending on the surgery type, you may spend two to five days in the hospital. You receive medication for pain relief while the nurses monitor your vitals. To reduce the risk of blood clots, especially in your legs, you should get up and walk as soon after surgery as the nurses suggest.
You may be given instructions for incision care if you’ve had traditional surgery or a vaginal hysterectomy. Your fibroid doctor packs gauze in your vagina to control bleeding, which can be removed in a few days. You may experience bloody or brownish discharge for up to 10 days.
Hysterectomy Recovery at Home
When you return home, continue walking. This speeds your recovery and reduces your risks. Until you’re fully healed, avoid:
- Lifting heavy objects
- Bending over
- Pushing or pulling objects
- Engaging in sexual intercourse
Rest and reduce your normal activities for three to four weeks, after a MIP, or four to six weeks, after a traditional hysterectomy surgery. Asking for help from your family or friends makes this healing time less stressful. Your uterine fibroid specialist discusses any further treatment you may need, including hormone replacement therapy, during your follow-up visit.