Types of Hysterectomy

30 March, 2020
There are different types of hysterectomy depending on the needs and the patient that need it. The surgeon or gynaecologist who determine the appropriate practice for each woman who requires it.

When a surgeon needs to remove a woman’s uterus they have different types of hysterectomy to choose from. The one they choose is based on the medical history of the patient and their state of health when making the decision.

It’s important for the woman to participate in deciding which type of hysterectomy they would prefer. They need to understand there are different consequences for each one.

Performing a hysterectomy is a difficult decision. Although there are obvious indications, and it’s inevitable for certain diseases, it’s never a pleasant option.

A hysterectomy is when doctors remove the uterus from a woman’s body. Once doctors perform the surgery, whichever type it may be, they will lose their ability to reproduce. They’ll not be able to become pregnant in the future.

This is why most countries have specific legislation so that women must give her full and informed consent. No doctor can perform a hysterectomy without the patient signing in agreement.

Indications for hysterectomies

As we said before, hysterectomies are inevitable in many cases. Unfortunately, some diseases can only be resolved by removing the uterus.

Before discussing the different types of hysterectomy, we first need to discuss the most common reasons for needing one.

Uterine cancer

This disease is the most common reason why women need a hysterectomy. While chemotherapy and radiotherapy options exist, removing the organ may be necessary.

Although the treatment of uterine cancer has advanced, if detected at an advanced stage and all other treatments fail, having a hysterectomy is the only option.

Uterine prolapse

A uterine prolapse is when the uterus falls from its normal position, generating symptoms and discomfort in women. If the prolapse isn’t serious it can be fixed through other surgical procedures. But if it affects quality of life, having a hysterectomy is an option.

An operation.
Hysterectomies are inevitable in many cases. They are there for uterine cancer, endometriosis, prolapse and leiomyoma.

Leiomyoma

A uterine leiomyoma is essentially a tumor of muscle and fibrous tissue that develops in the uterine wall. They cause the organ to deform and sometimes painful heavy bleeding can occur. Hysterectomies aren’t the best treatment for this, but may be necessary.

Endometriosis

This is where endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. It’s normal to find these cells there. The symptoms and possible treatments are very varied.

But, if conservative methods fail, then a type of hysterectomy called a radical should be performed which involves removing almost all of the female genitalia.

Continue reading: What You Need to Know about Uterine Polyps

The consequences of having a hysterectomy?

After any type of hysterectomy, women will not be able to menstruate. Meaning that the woman stops menstruating which leads to premature menopause if the woman is still of childbearing age.

Without menstrual periods, the woman won’t be able to get pregnant. Therefore, early menopause can occur. However, menopausal woman can also have a hysterectomy. In those cases there’s no overtaking of infertility.

There’s a type of hysterectomy where the ovaries are preserved and therefore hormonal production is maintained. Although menopause doesn’t happen immediately in these cases, the perimenopause stage has advanced.

Women who’ve had a partial hysterectomy should continue to attend regular cervical screenings. The cervix is left untouched in this type of hysterectomy, meaning cancer from the human papillomavirus can still settle.

A woman with her doctor.
Women still need to attend cervical screenings after a partial hysterectomy.

Discover more: 8 Key Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Types of hysterectomy

Now we’ll tell you about the types of hysterectomies available. Access routes and techniques need to be established. It can be accessed via the abdomen or the vagina, through an opening or by performing a laparoscopy. Then, you can choose from various final approaches:

  • Total: a total hysterectomy, also known as a simple hysterectomy. The surgeon removes the entire uterus from the woman’s body, leaving the ovaries and Fallopian tubes.
  • Subtotal: this type of hysterectomy leaves the cervix and only removes the upper part of the uterus. It also leaves the ovaries and the Fallopian tubes.
  • Radical: This is the most aggressive type of hysterectomy – removing the entire uterus, ovaries and the Fallopian tubes.

In conclusion

There are different types of hysterectomy. The doctor will advise the best approach for each case, but the woman must always give her full and informed consent.

After surgery, you will stop menstruating and menopause will begin. Unfortunately, there are sometimes no other treatments and doctors will need to perform life-saving removal.

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