Considering a Hysterectomy? Did You Know There Might be Another Option?
- Created: May 10, 2016
- by: Leah Johnson
What is a hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a woman’s uterus. This procedure is recommended for a number of reasons, including uterine fibroids. In fact, uterine fibroids is one of the most common reasons to remove the uterus. There are different types of hysterectomies, depending on what is needed for the patient.
- A total hysterectomy removes the entire uterus, including the cervix.
- A supracervical hysterectomy removes the upper part of the uterus, but leaves the cervix. This type of hysterectomy may be performed laparoscopically.
- A radical hysterectomy is a total hysterectomy and also includes the removal of surrounding structures, such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes. This procedure may be recommended for patients who have or may have cancer in order to ensure that all the cancerous tissue is removed.
The process of the hyterectomy depends largely on what is being done and why. The doctor will determine whether it can occur vaginally, laparoscopically, or through the abdomen. However, if the doctor decides to perform the procedure vaginally or laparoscopically, complications may require the surgeon to change the procedure in order to address problems that are detected.
What are the advantages of a hysterectomy?
One of the advantages of a hysterectomy is that it is highly adaptable based on the needs of the patient. For example, if the surgeon is doing a hysterectomy to remove cancer and determines that the cancerous tissue has spread more than originally detected, the surgeon my decide to remove additional structures to remove the rest of the cancer.
Another advantage is that it is comprehensive. Whatever problem is occurring can be taken care of right away and all at once with less risk of having to go through the surgery again later. This is particularly true in total or radical hysterectomies.
What are the disadvantages of a hysterectomy?
One major disadvantage of a hysterectomy is its permanence. When the uterus is removed, a woman is unable to carry children. For many women, this is a serious decision and may even cause women to resist undergoing a hysterectomy to deal with uterine fibroids.
What are the health risks associated with a hysterectomy?
Any type of hysterectomy is invasive, and carries risks. Patients can experience fever or infection following the procedure and have heavy bleeding afterward. The procedure can also cause injuries to the urinary tract or other organs. Afterward, even years later, patients may experience a blood clot that can travel to the lungs or a bowel blockage. There are also risks associated with the anesthesia.
Is there an alternative to a hysterectomy?
When facing the prospect of a hysterectomy to treat uterine fibroids, patients may want to seek an alternative, especially if they are young and/or still want to have children of their own. However, a “wait and see” approach is not always the best option for women. Instead, they should explore all treatment alternatives to make sure their treatment plan really is the best for them. For many women, fibroid embolization may be a valuable alternative to a hysterectomy for uterine fibroids.
What is fibroid embolization?
Fibroid embolization is a process that blocks the blood flow of fibroid in the uterus by injecting embolic agents into the uterine arteries with a catheter. The embolic agents prevent blood flow to the fibroids, which essentially starves them and prevents them from causing harm to the body. This process is completed by an experienced physician.
Fibroid embolization is a procedure used specifically for uterine fibroids, which can cause pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. It is frequently used as an alternative to surgery for women who want to keep their uteruses or who are too high risk for surgery.
What are the advantages of a fibroid embolization?
The biggest advantage of this procedure, particularly in comparison to a hysterectomy, is that it is much less invasive. This reduces the risks of complications during the procedure and risks of problems afterward. Patients are able to recover more quickly from the procedure and feel better more quickly.
In addition, this procedure does not remove the uterus, which means women who want to have children may still be able to, even after the procedure.
What are the disadvantages of a fibroid embolization?
A disadvantage of fibroid embolization is that it is a narrow procedure. The process is used to treat uterine fibroids. However, if a patient has uterine fibroids on top of other problems, fibroid embolization may not be the best solution.
What are the health risks associated with fibroid embolization?
There are similar health risks associated with fibroid embolization as there are for hysterectomy. However, these risks are diminished because the procedure is much less invasive. However, patients may still experience infection and damage to other organs. In addition, women may have problems with future pregnancies.
How do I know what is best for my health?
It is best to discuss your treatment options with your doctor to decide the best solution for you. Your doctor understands what is involved in treating your uterine fibroids and any other health problems you have. However, it is important that you ask questions and make sure you know what would be involved in a hysterectomy and a fibroid embolization so that, together, you and your doctor can make a decision.