HYSTERECTOMY – definition,reasons,effects

Hysterectomy is a surgical operation that involves the removal of the uterus or other reproductive organs like, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix, and other surrounding

Hysterectomy - definition,reasons,effects
Closeup of surgery knives set isolated

organs.Hysterectomy can be done partially, that is removing a small part only or total, which involves removing the whole womb thus the woman can never get pregnant.

REASONS FOR HYSTERECTOMY

There are several reasons for hysterectomy, but the main reason is usually if all the other disease treatment methods have failed and the only option available is hysterectomy.

Below are the several reasons for hysterectomy;

  • Fibroids – Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous and they cause heavy bleeding and pain. Doctors may at first prescribe simple methods like myomectomy, which is the removal of fibroids only but leaving the uterus intact, but if all other methods including myomectomy fail to clear the fibroids infection, hysterectomy becomes the final solution.
  • Prolapse of the uterus – This is a situation whereby, the uterus becomes stretched and weak, and moves downward from its normal position. Hysterectomy can be preferred for this type of disorder if the tissues and ligaments that support the womb are severely weakened and the woman does not want any more children.
  • Cancer – This is the main reason why many hysterectomies are done. If all other methods, including radiation and chemotherapy, fail to bring positive effects, hysterectomy becomes the final solution.
  • Adenomyosis – This is a condition whereby the endometrial cells and tissues grow into the uterine wall. This can cause menstrual cramps, lower abdominal pressure, and bloating before menstrual periods and can result in heavy periods. The only effective treatment for adenomyosis is hysterectomy.
  • Endometriosis – Endometriosis is a condition whereby the endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. This condition can cause irregular periods, pain and can even lead to infertility if not checked. If home therapy, medical procedures, and any other treatment procedures fail, the only option that will clear everything is hysterectomy.
  • Hyperplasia – This is also known as hypergenesis. It is a condition whereby an increase in the organic tissue occurs thus leading to cell proliferation. It can be a sign of precancerous changes. If hyperplasia occurs in the uterus, it will lead to the excessive thickening of the uterine wall. This thickening is mostly caused by excessive estrogen production. The thickening can lead to heavy irregular bleeding during periods. If initial treatments fail or the doctor suspects it can lead to cancer, hysterectomy is immediately recommended.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – PID is a bacterial infection of the female reproduction system. If found early antibiotics can be used for treatment but if it spreads and becomes severe, it can damage the uterus and this is the time the doctor recommends hysterectomy.
  • Placenta accretaThis is a condition whereby the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall but does not penetrate the uterine muscle. This can cause severe blood loss after delivery. Doctors, in most cases, perform a cesarean delivery followed by hysterectomy to prevent blood loss that happens when the placenta separates.
  • Abnormal menstrual flowExperiencing irregular blood flow during periods can prompt a hysterectomy in order to reduce the effects associated with the same.
  • Delivery complications – Sometimes during delivery, some complications such as severe bleeding might occur and for a doctor to save your life, hysterectomy becomes the only final solution.
  • Chronic pelvic pain – If you experience chronic pelvic pain regularly and the diagnosis has revealed its effects to be beyond medical help, the doctor can recommend hysterectomy as the best option.

EFFECTS OF HYSTERECTOMY

The effects of hysterectomy can be mild or severe.

There are several possible side effects that are associated with a hysterectomy surgery;

  • Pain at the incision area
  • Injury to nearby organs
  • Anaesthesia side effects such as breathing complications or even heart problems.
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Itching near the incision area
  • Swelling or bruising at the incision area
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Early menopause if full hysterectomy is performed
  • Menopause symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness if the uterus was removed in full
  • Infections

LONG TERM EFFECTS

Long term side effects are the ones that can be chronic and cause secondary infections.

Some of the possible long term effects of hysterectomy might include;

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Hot flashes
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating

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