A hysterectomy is an operation to remove a woman's uterus. Hysterectomy is the second most common major operation performed on women in the United States, after Cesarean section. A woman may have a hysterectomy for different reasons, including:
- Uterine fibroids that cause pain, bleeding, or other problems.
- Uterine prolapse, which is a sliding of the uterus from its normal position into the vaginal canal.
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries.
- Endometriosis which causes chronic pain and abnormal bleeding.
- Adenomyosis which is an enlargement of the uterus that can cause chronic pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding.
- Other less common causes of chronic pelvic pain or abnormal bleeding.
Hysterectomy is usually considered only after all other treatment approaches have been tried without success or contraindicated for medical reasons.
Surgical Techniques for Hysterectomy
Surgeons use different approaches for hysterectomy, depending on the surgeon’s experience, preference, the reason for the hysterectomy, and a woman's overall health. The hysterectomy technique will partly determine healing time and the kind of scar, if any, that remains after the operation.
There are two approaches to surgery – a traditional or open surgery and surgery using a minimally invasive procedure or MIP.
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