For any woman who has been informed by their doctor that their condition can be treated with a hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus, it is important to understand that options are available. Taking preemptive measures to research, collect information, engage in discussions with your doctor, and explore all available means and methods is crucial to making an informed decision that is right for you. As hysterectomy surgeries vary in type, because so much misinformation surrounds this procedure, and because viable, innovative alternatives are available, learning about these various surgical treatments can be a great place to begin your journey.
Broadly categorized, a hysterectomy may be classified according the reproductive structures that are surgically removed.
Supracervial or subtotal hysterectomy are procedures in which only the upper portion of the uterus is removed, leaving the cervix intact. Other reproductive structures may or may not be removed. These procedures are commonly referred to as partial hysterectomy.
A total hysterectomy entails the surgical removal of the entire uterus and the cervix. In some cases, other reproductive structures may also be removed, including the removal of one or both ovaries (oophorectomy). When a total hysterectomy also involves the removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes, it is known as saplingo-oophorectomy hysterectomy.
In cases in which cancerous cells or tumors exist, a radical hysterectomy will remove the entire uterus, and often the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and lymph nodes in the pelvis and / or abdomen.
Although oophorectomy, the removal of one or both ovaries, is not a type of hysterectomy, it is a procedure commonly performed on women who undergo a hysterectomy surgery. Although some cases may require that the ovaries be removed, it is generally recommended that premenopausal women preserve their ovaries in order to promote natural estrogen production, reduce the risk for osteoporosis, and aid in sexual function. As this may not always be a concern for every patient, your doctor can advise you about whether an oophorectomy is necessary in your case.
Hysterectomy surgeries may also be performed using various approaches, methods, and technology. These include:
Laparoscopic hysterectomy is an innovative, minimally invasive procedure that can be performed as a vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy. The procedure uses advanced surgical instruments and a tiny camera that allows a surgeon to view an image while performing surgery. Laparoscopic-assisted abdominal hysterectomy can reduce risks associated with a traditional hysterectomy surgery and often results in faster recovery. Laparoscopic techniques are also used in many alternative hysterectomy procedures.
Another advanced surgical procedure, robotic hysterectomy uses a computer to control the surgical instruments during surgery, which often includes the use of laparoscopic technology. A procedure known as daVinci® hysterectomy is currently the most commonly used form of robotic hysterectomy. Although it is less invasive than other approaches and offers faster recovery, there are still risks inherent to robotic hysterectomy.
Considering these various options, as well as their ultimate impact on your life, can certainly be a difficult experience. As Hysterectomy.com is intended to serve as a comprehensive resource that provides women and families with information about various conditions treated by hysterectomy, the risks of hysterectomy, and alternative treatments, we encourage you and / or your loved ones to reach out for additional support, information, and resources that can aid you as you navigate the many choices you face.
If you would like to learn more about the various types of hysterectomy surgeries and alternative options, then allow Dr. Seckin - a leading voice on hysterectomy and various surgical approaches - to provide you with specific information regarding your situation. Complete a contact form today.