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What is an Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. There are various reasons why a hysterectomy might be needed including fibroids, heavy or painful periods, endometrial or cervical cancer, endometriosis, or uterine prolapse. At Heartland Ob/Gyn, your physician will complete a thorough exam and discuss the most appropriate type of hysterectomy for you based on your physical and personal needs.


How Is It Treated?

In a vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed through the vagina. There are no incisions made on the abdomen. The majority of hysterectomies performed by our physicians are done vaginally. A vaginal hysterectomy typically requires an overnight stay in the hospital with return to most normal activities in 3-4 weeks. A vaginal approach usually causes less pain, less time in the operating room, and less time off work as compared to other approaches.

In the case that a vaginal approach is not possible, your physician will discuss the other options with you. In an abdominal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed through an incision on the abdomen. An abdominal hysterectomy typically requires a 2-3 day stay in the hospital. Women who require abdominal hysterectomies often need more time to recover, usually have more pain, and require more time off work.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy is also available. A laparoscopic approach typically requires an overnight stay in the hospital. A laparoscopic approach is comparable to a vaginal hysterectomy in recovery time and pain yet requires more time in the operating room to perform.

Depending on your situation, your physician will determine whether the ovaries should be removed along with the uterus. There are many considerations to factor in, including the reason for the hysterectomy, patient preference, family history, and age.