For many women, deciding to have the uterus removed is an important and emotionally difficult decision, resulting in the loss of fertility. Nevertheless, it is the second most common major surgical process in women worldwide; especially for women between ages 40-50.
There are different ways to perform hysterectomy - abdominal, vaginal and laparoscopic. This includes from least invasive to most invasive ways with varying degree of risks and benefits. It is always better for the patients to have a minimally invasive hysterectomy as recovery is faster than open. Also, each method has its own limitations. Look carefully at the advantages and disadvantages of hysterectomy.
Advantages of Hysterectomy
- The primary reason why women undergo hysterectomy is to get rid of the abnormal bleeding. Abnormal bleeding can be painful, draining and uncomfortable. But these days there are other treatments available for this condition, such as uterine balloon therapy. But this might not work in all cases.
- It prevents the possibility of future uterine cancer. Many women who have had cancerous growths, or who have a family history of them, choose to have a hysterectomy in order to prevent future problems. A hysterectomy can literally be a lifesaver for some of these women.
- It is used to treat uterine prolapse, which is a condition in which the uterus descends into or beyond the vagina.
- It solves the problem of uterine fibroid or growths. These can cause great discomfort, as when a woman suffers from endometriosis, a hysterectomy can bring great relief. However, nowadays there are many alternative treatments, such as hormonal treatments and balloon uterine therapy that can be used to treat these conditions.
- Above all, laparoscopic hysterectomy has advantages over traditional procedures. There is no blood loss and fewer complications. The procedure takes less than an hour and the patient can get back to home the same day. All this leads to fast recovery.
Disadvantages of Hysterectomy
The main disadvantage of hysterectomy is that it is a surgical process. It leads to menopause which has its own side effects. And if the ovaries are removed, it can further bring health problems such as arthritis, bone weakening, and risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- A hysterectomy is a major surgical procedure that involves significant recovery time, discomfort, and, like all surgery, a small risk of death; especially abdominal hysterectomy (as it involves long incisions).
- Studies have shown that the removal of the ovaries can bring about health problems of their own. The ovaries carry on producing hormones, such as estrogen, ovarian testosterone and androstenedione years after the menopause. Preserving the ovaries appears to reduce women's risk for heart disease and hip fracture.
- The emotional impact of having a uterus removed is often huge. If hormone therapy or other treatment can be used to prevent radical surgery, it would prevent emotional problems that some women experience after having a hysterectomy.
- A complete hysterectomy may necessitate the taking of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). While several studies have found HRT in the short term to be beneficial, long-term use of HRT may bring about health problems of its own.
- There are many women who encounter sexual dysfunction. It puts a pause on sex life for some time. If the ovaries are removed, your sexual desire decreases. That is because your ovaries produce testosterone and estrogen.
Also Read: What all you need to know about hysterectomy?
Since the advent of laparoscopic surgery, the majority of the doctors have reviewed their practice on the best way to remove the uterus. Laparoscopy permits the transformation of many abdominal hysterectomy surgeries into less invasive procedures. Improved techniques and instruments allow reducing the problems and complications as well as the duration and cost of the surgery. You can always talk to your doctor as there could be an underlying condition at play. Together, you and your doctor can strategize to make your life as good as - or even better.
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