What is Abdominal Hysterectomy?
An Abdominal Hysterectomy is a surgical removal of uterus by making an incision on your abdomen. There are many types of Abdominal Hysterectomy:
- Total Hysterectomy: In Total Hysterectomy your uterus and cervix (neck of the womb) are removed.
- Subtotal (partial) Hysterectomy: In Subtotal Hysterectomy only your uterus will be removed. Your cervix will remain intact.
- Hysterectomy with Salpingo Oophorectomy: In this type of hysterectomy surgery, your uterus, one or both of your ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed.
- Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingectomy: In this type of hysterectomy surgery, your uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed.
Why is it done?
There are many reasons why the uterus will need to be removed. Hysterectomy is performed to treat the following health conditions:
- Continuous heavy bleeding that does not get controlled by medicines or Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) or any other treatment.
- Endometriosis, is a gynaecological condition when the endometrium, which is the tissue that lines inside the uterus, grows outside the uterus.
- Fibroids, is a benign uterine tumor that can cause severe bleeding, pelvic pain or bladder pressure.
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Uterine prolapse, i.e. uterus descent into the vagina. It occurs when supporting ligaments and tissues in the pelvis weakens.
- Hysterectomy is needed to treat cancer present in uterus, cervix, ovary etc. Your doctor may recommend you to undergo hysterectomy, if you have precancerous conditions.
What happens during the procedure?
You will be given general anaesthesia for an Abdominal Hysterectomy. A catheter will be placed through your urethra to empty your bladder and it will remain there for some more time after surgery. Your surgeon will make an incision on your abdomen and uterus will be removed. Once surgery is over, incision site is closed.
How long will it take?
Abdominal Hysterectomy will take approximately 1 – 2 hours, depending upon the type of hysterectomy that is performed.
What happens after the procedure?
After surgery, you will be encouraged to walk and medication will be prescribed for pain management. Abdominal scars will heal but they will be visible. You will experience some vaginal bleeding for one or two weeks, which is normal and will stop gradually. You may stay in the hospital for about 3 to 5 days, depending on your recovery. Catheter will be removed before discharge.
Post-surgery, you will no longer have menstrual periods and won’t be able to conceive. If you’re premenopausal and our ovaries were removed, then menopause will start right away and your doctor may prescribe you hormone therapy.
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How do I prepare for Abdominal Hysterectomy?
- You may be given a laxative to take the night before the surgery or an enema the morning of the surgery.
- The night before the procedure, you will be recommended to eat a light meal.
- Follow all pre-surgery instructions that your doctor gives you.
- You may be asked to undergo pre-operative investigations such as blood tests, ECG, Chest X-ray etc.
- Inform your doctor about all medicines you are taking.
- Ensure that you have someone to help you during your recovery after the operation.
How shall I take care of myself at home?
After you go home, you need to take lot of rest and do lift any heavy objects. It will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks for your complete recovery. Ensure you have someone at home to help you with daily activities. Wait for six weeks to resume your sexual activity or as advised by your doctor.
How will be my life after hysterectomy?
- You will feel relieved from the symptoms due to which you opted for surgery.
- You will not have menstrual periods again.
- You will not be able to conceive.
- You will experience menopause.
- Due to relief from symptoms, post hysterectomy you will have a better quality of life and improved sense of well-being.
UPDATED ON 15/11/2023