Benefits and Risks of a Hysterectomy

consider the benefits and risks of a hysterectomy with dr kent kuswanto gynaecologist

Benefits and Risks of a Hysterectomy

What is a Hysterectomy?

hysterectomy is a surgical operation to remove the uterus (womb). It may also involve the removal of the cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries.


Hysterectomy Types

There are different types of hysterectomies:

  • Total hysterectomy: removal of the uterus and cervix
  • Subtotal hysterectomy: removal of the uterus
  • Hysterectomy with salpingectomy: removal of uterus and fallopian tubes
  • Hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy: removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries

There are also different ways to perform a hysterectomy:

  • Abdominally: traditional open cut surgery through the abdomen
  • Vaginally: Through the vagina
  • Laparoscopically: minimally invasive key-hole surgery through small cuts (usually 5-10mm each) in the abdomen
  • Robotically: Same as laparoscopic surgery but using robotic instruments


What are the Benefits of a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy over Traditional Open Surgery?

A vast majority of hysterectomies can now be safely performed laparoscopically, therefore allowing:

  • less pain
  • less blood loss during operation
  • lower risk of infection
  • lower risk of formation of clots in legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolus) after surgery
  • less scar tissue formation
  • and quicker recovery – usually 1-2 nights in the hospital, returning to work in 2-3 weeks depending on type of work


What are the Common Reasons for a Hysterectomy?

The most common reasons for having a hysterectomy include:

  • Fibroids – non-cancerous tumours within the muscle of the womb. Fibroids may cause heavy bleeding due to the enlargement of the womb. They may also lead to pressure symptoms such as bloating, urinary frequency, constipation and back pain
  • Adenomyosis – when the cells from the internal lining of the uterus (the endometrial cells) grow into the muscular wall of the uterus, leading to heavy and painful periods
  • Endometriosis – when the internal lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis may cause period and pelvic pain
  • Prolapsed uterus due to weakness in the tissues supporting the uterus and vaginal walls
  • Cancer or pre-cancerous conditions of the cervix, uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes
  • Heavy or painful menstrual periods that are not relieved by other treatments


What are the Risks of a Hysterectomy?

There are potential risks of complications with any surgery, this should be discussed with you before the surgery.

These include:

  • bleeding
  • infection (such as skin wound, vaginal wound, bladder)
  • damage to internal organs (bladder, ureters, bowel, major blood vessels)
  • blood clots in legs or lungs
  • hernia at incision sites


What Happens After the Surgery?

In the immediate post operative period, the pace of recovery greatly depends on the method of surgery, whether it be minimally invasive (laparoscopic/ robotic/ vaginal) or a traditional open procedure.

Typically, women stay in hospital for 1-2 nights after a laparoscopic, robotic or vaginal hysterectomy. By the second week, most women will be keen to return to their usual activities. You will be advised not to drive typically in the first 2 weeks. Women usually return to work after 2-3 weeks depending on how physical their work is. The sutured area at the top of the vagina takes 6-8 weeks to heal. During this time, avoid inserting anything in the vagina and sex.

Whether hysterectomy leads to menopause depends on whether the ovaries (and their hormonal function) are removed at the time of hysterectomy. The ovaries are not removed in the majority of non-cancerous hysterectomies.

If your pap tests have previously been normal, a total hysterectomy (including the removal of your cervix) will negate the need for ongoing pap tests in the future.


Visit your Gynaecologist Melbourne Today

As with all surgical procedures, it is important that you have an understanding of the risks and benefits of a hysterectomy before proceeding. Should you have any questions or concerns about any part of your procedure, do not hesitate to ask your gynaecologist, or get a second opinion. You may contact us or visit our website for more information. You should feel completely confident in your decision. Dr Kent Kuswanto also offers many other surgical gynaecology services such as endometrial ablation, ovarian cyst treatment, robotic surgery, myomectomy procedure, and laparoscopic surgery. We also provide telehealth consults, along with consultations at convenient locations such as East Melbourne, Box Hill and Werribee.