About 500,000 American women get hysterectomies each year, making it one of the most common types of surgery. In a hysterectomy, either part or all of your uterus is removed.
Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that ends your ability to get pregnant, because it removes essential female reproductive organs. It’s a form of sterilization, but it’s most commonly recommended as a treatment for painful gynecologic conditions when other treatments aren’t effective.
If you’re considering a hysterectomy, our OB-GYN Associates of Marietta surgical team offers customizable minimally invasive hysterectomy procedures to address your unique needs.
Understanding the female reproductive system
The function of the female reproductive system is facilitating fertilization and supporting a growing baby. It consists of several different organs with specific functions, but certain gynecologic conditions can impair their function and produce symptoms like heavy periods, pelvic pain, and more.
Your uterus (womb) is the hollow organ in which a baby develops if you’re pregnant. Egg cells are created and stored in your ovaries, which are connected to your uterus by the fallopian tubes. When an egg is fertilized, it generally happens in the fallopian tubes, and the fertilized egg then travels into the uterus.
The lower portion of your uterus is called the cervix. It connects your uterus to the outside of your body through your vagina. The cervix and vagina are sometimes referred to as the birth canal.
Common gynecologic conditions like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and heavy or unexplained vaginal bleeding can all cause unpleasant symptoms that impact your quality of life. Some women find that conservative treatments may be enough to relieve symptoms, but if you’re still suffering, hysterectomy could be a good option for you.
Your hysterectomy options
The types of hysterectomies vary depending on which reproductive organs are removed. Our doctors generally recommend hysterectomy as an option when conservative treatments have failed to relieve symptoms of a gynecologic condition or in cases of cancer.
We thoroughly evaluate your condition, symptoms, and medical history to determine which type of hysterectomy is best for you, and we strive to remove as few organs as possible to improve your condition. The most common types of hysterectomy are:
In a partial hysterectomy, the surgeon removes the upper portion of your uterus and leaves your cervix intact. This type of hysterectomy is the least disruptive to the body, and it can be an effective treatment for cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and other conditions.
If you’re suffering from uterine fibroids, a myomectomy may be an alternative to hysterectomy. In a myomectomy, your surgeon removes fibroids to treat symptoms and leaves your uterus intact.
A total hysterectomy is the removal of your entire uterus, including the cervix. Depending on your condition, one or both ovaries and/or the fallopian tubes may also be removed in a total hysterectomy.
Total hysterectomy may be a good option for you if your gynecologic condition is more severe and organs outside the uterus are affected by cancer or abnormal tissue growth.
Radical hysterectomies are the rarest type, and include removal of the uterus, cervix, and the upper portion of the vagina. The surgeon may also remove tissue surrounding the cervix, as well as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
This type of hysterectomy is generally recommended only in advanced cases of cervical cancer and when all other treatment options are exhausted.
When conservative treatments aren’t enough to manage your gynecologic condition, hysterectomy could offer relief from unpleasant symptoms and improve your quality of life. Talk to the team at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta. Call our offices in Marietta or Woodstock, Georgia, or request an appointment online to get started.