Hysterectomy is an operation women undergo to remove the uterus (womb), it is recommended when other treatment options have been unsuccessful.
The most common reasons for the surgery include ‘Uterine Fibroids’ that cause heavy bleeding and pelvic pain and other problems like the Big C- Cancer of the uterus, cervix, and/or ovaries.
A hysterectomy procedure could be:
- Subtotal/partial – where the uterus is removed, but the cervix is left in place.
- Total – where the uterus and cervix are removed.
- Radical-where the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed. Radical hysterectomy is usually done when cancer is present. It is also important to clarify with health professionals if the cervix and/or ovaries will be removed.
Deciding to have a hysterectomy is something that should not be taken lightly. Thorough and diagnostic consultation with your doctor is important, although if you have cancer, it might be the only treatment option.
According to health experts, it is prudent to also ask yourself some questions before going ahead with the procedure:
- Are my symptoms seriously affecting my quality of life?
- Have I explored all other treatment options?
- Am I prepared for the possibility of an early menopause?
- Do I still want to have children?
Also worth considering are the risks involved in having a hysterectomy. Risks like:
- Urinary incontinence or involuntary leakage of urine.
- Vaginal prolapse explained as part of the vagina coming out of the body.
- Vaginal ﬁstula formation- an abnormal connection that forms between the vagina and bladder or rectum.
Other rare side eﬀects include:
- Chronic pain
- Wound infections
- Blood clots
- Injury to surrounding organs.
After the procedure, it is expected for patients to enter menopause if the ovaries were also removed or if not removed to enter menopause at an early age.
Overall, research has shown via surveys that when recommended & undertaken, the operation succeeds at improving or curing the main problem of patients who undertake the operation.
Health is wealth and knowledge is power! So knowledge on maintaining good health is in order. Consult a qualiﬁed medical practitioner and specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment of pains or any other ailments in the body, as the need arises.
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