Hysterectomy: Pros and Cons of Uterus Removal

Medically reviewed by
"Dr. Aarushi Aggarwal MBBS, MS - Obstetrics & Gynaecology"

Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the uterus. Sometimes, fallopian tubes and ovaries are also removed. This procedure is commonly performed to address various health conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis, and cancer, and it can also be a part of gender-affirming care. In India, as in many other countries, Hysterectomy is the second most common major surgery performed on women., with around 600,000 procedures being done each year. However, like any medical procedure, it comes with both advantages and disadvantages that patients need to carefully consider before making a decision.

Types of Hysterectomy:

There are several types of hysterectomy, each involving the removal of different reproductive organs. The specific type of hysterectomy recommended by a doctor will depend on the patient's health condition and individual needs. The main types of hysterectomy are as follows:

  • Partial Hysterectomy (Supracervical or Subtotal Hysterectomy):
  • In a partial hysterectomy, also known as supracervical or subtotal hysterectomy, only a portion of the uterus is removed, while the cervix is left intact. The ovaries and fallopian tubes may or may not be removed during this procedure. This type of hysterectomy is less common than total hysterectomy but may be suitable for certain conditions.

  • Total Hysterectomy:
  • A total hysterectomy involves the complete removal of the uterus and cervix. The fallopian tubes and ovaries may or may not be removed during this procedure. Total hysterectomy is the most common type of hysterectomy performed.

  • Total Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy:
  • In this type of hysterectomy, the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and both ovaries are removed. Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is often recommended for conditions such as ovarian cancer, certain types of uterine cancer, or when there is a significant risk of ovarian cancer.

  • Radical Hysterectomy:
  • Radical hysterectomy is typically performed for cases of gynecologic cancer, primarily cervical cancer. It involves the removal of the uterus, cervix, parts of the vagina, and the surrounding tissues, including the parametrium and pelvic lymph nodes. This procedure is more extensive than other types of hysterectomy and is reserved for advanced cancer cases.

The Pros of Hysterectomy:

  • Prevention of Fibroid Recurrence:
  • One of the significant benefits of a hysterectomy is that it completely eliminates the risk of fibroids growing back or new ones forming. This is particularly important because alternative treatments like uterine fibroid embolization and myomectomy have a recurrence rate of about 10% within 2 years following treatment.

  • Cancer Prevention:
  • While uterine fibroids themselves are benign tumours, in rare cases, cancerous tumours called leiomyosarcomas can be mistaken for fibroids. A hysterectomy can eliminate this risk, though it's essential to note that the incidence of cancerous fibroids is quite low.

The Cons of Hysterectomy:

  • Major Surgery:
  • Hysterectomy is a major invasive surgery, and around 3% of patients may experience major complications. These complications can include haemorrhage, bowel or bladder injury, pulmonary embolism, adverse reactions to anaesthesia, wound issues, and hematoma.

  • Loss of Childbearing Potential:
  • A significant drawback of hysterectomy is that it eliminates the possibility of having children. While other treatments for fibroids may also impact fertility, hysterectomy is most definitive in this regard.

  • Extensive Recovery Time:
  • Due to its nature as a major surgery, hysterectomy requires at least an overnight hospital stay and an extensive recovery period of 2 to 6 weeks. This can be a significant consideration for those seeking less invasive options.

Making the Hysterectomy decision:

Understanding the pros and cons of hysterectomy is crucial in making an informed decision about this procedure. For women who have passed their childbearing years or do not intend becoming pregnant, and for those seeking peace of mind regarding fibroid recurrence, a hysterectomy may be a suitable option. However, for women who desire to preserve their fertility or cannot afford an extensive recovery period, alternative treatments should be carefully considered.

Medical Support for Hysterectomy:

As the decision to undergo a hysterectomy is a significant one, patients need the support and expertise of a trusted medical team. FirstCure Health can provide valuable assistance in this regard. With experienced laparoscopic surgeons and a track record of over huge successful stories, FirstCure Health offers a hassle-free experience. Additionally, we provide EMI options at 0% interest rate and paperwork support to prevent claim delays. With a Covid-free environment and transparent pricing, FirstCure Health is dedicated to ensuring the well-being and satisfaction of its patients.

In conclusion, a hysterectomy is a medical procedure that carries both advantages and disadvantages. While it can effectively prevent fibroid recurrence and, in rare cases, cancer, it is a major surgery that involves a loss of childbearing potential and requires an extensive recovery period. Patients considering a hysterectomy should have a thorough discussion with their doctors and consider all available treatment options. For those seeking reliable medical support and expertise, FirstCure Health can provide the necessary assistance and care throughout the process.

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