Hysterectomy – the procedure where the uterus/womb, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix etc are removed depending on the need and what type of hysterectomy is being performed. Did you know that Hysterectomy is the 2 nd most common surgery performed on women after Cesarean delivery?
Ever thought under what circumstances would your surgeon / gynaecologist advise you to go for hysterectomy? Here are most common conditions when hysterectomy will be performed after prescription medicines offers little to no help.
- Uterine Fibroids
- Cancer of Uterus, Ovary, Cervix, Endometrium
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Uterine Prolapse
- Post Delivery Complications
- Placenta Accreta
Let’s get into more the details of each condition
Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman’s uterus. They start small with no symptoms and as they continue to grow in size, this results in severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding periods. Usually fibroids are benign (not harmful) and non cancerous. However, when they grow bigger, pain becomes unbearable.
As a first step towards treatment of fibroids, medicines may be prescribed. If that doesn’t help, a procedure called ‘Myomectomy’ may be performed. Only the fibroids are removed in this procedure. However, if these fibroids start regrowing, hysterectomy alone becomes an option.
While fibroids are non cancerous, some tissues grow abnormally in or on Uterus, ovaries, cervix that are cancerous. Depending on what type of cancer you have, your expert gynecologist will advise you the treatment or surgery. Other ways of treating these cancer tumors are Chemotherapy and radiation.
In some cases, if your surgeon detects the presence of BRCA Gene in you, hysterectomy may be advised as a precancerous mitigation step to avoid the risk of ovarian or breast cancers.
Inside the uterus, a tissue typically forms on the walls. In normal cases, when a fertilization doesn’t happen for that month, this tissue tears off and is ejected during the periods. Sometimes, this tissue grows ‘outside’ the uterus and can reach up to other organs such as ovaries. This results in pain and irregular periods. This can also lead to infertility.
If hormone therapy and the procedure to remove the outside tissue fails, hysterectomy will be the only option left with your gynecologist.
The inner lining of the uterus sometimes grows into the muscle of the uterus. As a result, the walls of the uterus thicken causing pain and heavy bleeding. If you are nearing your menopause, this condition may subside on it’s own but if you still feel the pain, you should see a good gynecologist near you immediately.
Hormone therapy and medications may be advised first and when they fail, hysterectomy should be performed.
PID – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is a condition when the organs in pelvis region are infected by bacteria and cause severe pelvic pain. As this is a bacterial infection, this can be treated with medicines provided this is detected early. In conditions when it’s too late and if the infection has spread to other organs in the pelvis region, total or subtotal or radical hysterectomy may be advised.
Estrogen, an important hormone in women. Anything of too much is dangerous, similarly, too much of estrogen makes the lining of the uterus very thick. In some cases, this condition can turn cancerous. As said, when the lining of the uterus become thick, severe pain and heavy bleeding will be experienced. Usually this condition is addressed by hormone therapy but if your gynecology specialist detects that it can become cancerous, he/she may advise you to go for hysterectomy.
Can be caused in any of the above mentioned conditions or other factors.
All the soft organs in the body are held in their place by ligaments and muscles surrounding it. When these muscles become weak because of age or due to any other medical condition, they fall out of place. Such is the situation in uterine prolapse where the uterus slips from it’s place through the vagina. If the pelvic tissues are irreparable by other procedures, your doctor may go for hysterectomy. Here, the method of hysterectomy performed may vary from conventional hysterectomy, vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy.
After child delivery through vaginal or cesarean method, some women start bleeding heavily due to some complications. In such cases, uterus has to be removed.
Placenta is an organ inside the uterus which provides nourishments to the foetus through the umbilical cord. After the baby is born, this placenta has to separate from the uterus. In conditions where this placenta has grown deeply into the uterus, your surgeon may advise you to get the uterus removed.