A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the womb (uterus). You'll no longer be able to get pregnant after the operation. If you have not already gone through the menopause, you'll no longer have periods, regardless of your age. It's more common for women aged 40 to 50.
There are various types of hysterectomy. The type you have depends on why you need the operation and how much of your womb and surrounding reproductive system can safely be left in place.
The main types of hysterectomy are:
Total hysterectomy – the womb and cervix (neck of the womb) are removed; this is the most commonly performed operation
Subtotal hysterectomy – the main body of the womb is removed, leaving the cervix in place
Total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy – the womb, cervix, fallopian tubes (salpingectomy) and ovaries (oophorectomy) are removed
Radical hysterectomy – the womb and surrounding tissues are removed, including the fallopian tubes, part of the vagina, ovaries, lymph glands and fatty tissue
There are 3 ways to carry out a hysterectomy:
Laparoscopic hysterectomy (keyhole surgery) – where small cuts are made in the tummy and the womb is removed through a cut in the vagina
Vaginal hysterectomy – where the womb is removed through a cut in the top of the vagina
Abdominal hysterectomy – where the womb is removed through a cut in the lower tummy
Endometrial ablation is a procedure that surgically destroys (ablates) the lining of your uterus (endometrium). The goal of endometrial ablation is to reduce menstrual flow. In some women, menstrual flow may stop completely. No incisions are needed for endometrial ablation. Your doctor inserts slender tools through the passageway between your vagina and uterus (cervix).
The tools vary, depending on the method used to ablate the endometrium. Methods might include extreme cold, heated fluids, microwave energy or high-energy radiofrequencies.
Insertion of Mirena
Mirena is a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) that can provide long-term birth control (contraception).
The device is a T-shaped plastic frame that's inserted into the uterus, where it releases a type of the hormone progestin. To prevent pregnancy, Mirena:
Thickens mucus in the cervix to stop sperm from reaching or fertilizing an egg
Thins the lining of the uterus and partially suppresses ovulation
Mirena prevents pregnancy for up to seven years after insertion.
Cryocautery involves temporarily freezing the cervix (the opening to the womb) with a metal probe for 1-2 minutes. It is sometimes used to treat mildly abnormal cells on the cervix but more often used to treat excessive vaginal discharge or bleeding after sexual intercourse (post coital bleeding)
Minimal Invasive Surgery
In minimally invasive surgery, doctors use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body than with open surgery. In general, minimally invasive surgery is associated with less pain, a shorter hospital stay and fewer complications.
Laparoscopy — surgery done through one or more small incisions, using small tubes and tiny cameras and surgical instruments — was one of the first types of minimally invasive surgery. Another type of minimally invasive surgery is robotic surgery. It provides a magnified, 3D view of the surgical site and helps the surgeon operate with precision, flexibility and control.
Minimally invasive surgery uses smaller surgical incisions, and it's generally less risky than traditional surgery. But even with minimally invasive surgery, there are risks of complications with anesthesia, bleeding and infection.
Consult your gynecologist today!