A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus. Many women undergo hysterectomy. It is very common for women in their 40s to 50s. A hysterectomy is performed to treat a health problem affecting the female reproductive system. Some of the problems include: heavy discharge, chronic pelvic pain, benign tumors, ovarian cancer, etc. Since it is a serious operation, it is advisable to perform it only if all other medical treatments have been exhausted, as in the case of cancer.
The uterus can be removed vaginally, laparoscopically and surgically through an open abdominal incision. Today, the fallopian tubes are usually removed during hysterectomy, as studies have shown that this reduces the risk of ovarian cancer. The eventual removal of the ovaries is assessed individually.
Vaginal hysterectomy is the first choice when it comes to removing the uterus. It does not require an abdominal incision. The operation usually lasts about 45 minutes. The patient is discharged from the hospital the day after the operation and very quickly returns to her daily activities.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy is a method where a camera and instruments are inserted into the abdomen through several small incisions (5-12 mm). The surgery is performed with small instruments under camera control. The operation lasts 60-90 minutes, (it can last even longer in the case of cancer surgery), one day remains in the hospital and the patient quickly returns to normal activities.
Hysterectomy through an open incision
Hysterectomy through an open incision is rarely performed today, mainly for very large fibroids and malignant diseases. The operation usually lasts 60-90 minutes (it can last longer in the case of cancer operations). The patient stays in the hospital for 2-4 days after the operation and recovery is longer than with vaginal and laparoscopic hysterectomy.
Recovery after hysterectomy
Full recovery depends on the type of performed procedure. It takes 6 to 8 weeks for an abdominal hysterectomy, while it is slightly shorter for vaginal and laparoscopic ones. However, all these procedures have in common that you still have to rest and under no circumstances lift anything heavy until the abdominal walls and surrounding tissue is fully recovered.
Sexual activities after hysterectomy
After a hysterectomy, it is generally recommended that you not have sex until the scars have healed and any vaginal discharge has stopped, which usually takes at least 4 to 6 weeks. As long as you feel comfortable and relaxed, it is safe to have sex. In the beginning, you may experience vaginal dryness, especially if you have also had your ovaries removed and are not on hormone therapy.
Many women initially feel a loss of desire for sex (libido) after surgery, but everything returns to normal after a full recovery.
Bleeding after hysterectomy
After a hysterectomy, you will have some vaginal bleeding and discharge. It is quite normal. The discharge will be less than during menstruation, but it can last up to 6 weeks. If you have heavy vaginal bleeding, blood clots or discharge has an unpleasant smell, contact your doctor.
For all information about the hysterectomy procedure and other gynecological questions, contact us on our phone numbers on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or write us an email.