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Obstetrics & Gynecology: Woman to woman health services

Hysterectomy

Surgery and Alternatives

A hysterectomy is surgery to remove a woman's uterus. During the surgery the whole uterus is usually removed. The extent of a hysterectomy varies depending on the reason for the surgery. Depending on the situation, it may also involve removing the fallopian tubes and ovaries. After a hysterectomy, you no longer have menstrual periods and cannot become pregnant.

Why Is a Hysterectomy Performed?

  • Adenomyosis, which is a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus grows into the muscles of the uterus
  • Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Endometriosis, which is a disorder in which the inner lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterine cavity, causing pain and bleeding
  • Fibroids, which are benign tumors that grow in the uterus
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease, which is a serious infection of the reproductive organs
  • Uncontrollable vaginal bleeding
  • Uterine prolapse, which occurs when the uterus drops through the cervix and protrudes from the vagina

The National Women's Health Network notes that a hysterectomy is the second most common surgical procedure performed on women in the United States. It's considered to be a safe, low-risk surgery, but there may be other alternatives. Some conditions that can be treated with a hysterectomy may also be treated in other ways. Hormone therapy can be used to treat endometriosis. Fibroids can be treated with other types of surgery that spare the uterus. It is best to to have a full discussion with Dr. Ginsburg and to take into account past history and future desires and goals.

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