Facts about Hysterectomy – IDPH

Below are the best information about Will insurance cover hysterectomy for heavy bleeding public topics compiled and compiled by our team

What is a hysterectomy?

Hysterectomy is surgical removal of the uterus and sometimes the cervix and supporting tissues. It is the most common non-pregnancy-related major surgery performed on women in the United States, with one in three women having a hysterectomy by age 60. If you have not reached menopause, a hysterectomy will stop your monthly bleeding (periods). You also will not be able to get pregnant. If the ovaries are removed in a woman before she reaches menopause, the loss of female hormones will cause her to suddenly enter menopause (surgical menopause).

Why do women have hysterectomies?

Hysterectomies are most often done for the following reasons:

  • Uterine fibroids — common, benign (noncancerous) tumors that grow in the muscle of the uterus. More hysterectomies are done because of fibroids than any other problem of the uterus. Sometimes fibroids cause heavy bleeding or pain.
  • Endometriosis — another benign condition that affects the uterus. It is the second leading reason for hysterectomies. It occurs when endometrial tissue (the inside lining of the uterus) begins to grow on the outside of the uterus and on nearby organs. This condition may cause painful menstrual periods, abnormal vaginal bleeding and loss of fertility.
  • Uterine prolapse — a benign condition in which the uterus moves from its usual place down into the vagina. Uterine prolapse is due to weak and stretched pelvic ligaments and tissues, and can lead to urinary problems, pelvic pressure or difficulty with bowl movements. Childbirth, obesity and loss of estrogen after menopause may contribute to this problem.
  • Cancer — the reason for about 10 percent of all hysterectomies. Endometrial cancer, uterine sarcoma, cervical cancer, and cancer of the ovaries or fallopian tubes often require hysterectomy. Depending on the type and extent of cancer, other kinds of treatment such as radiation or hormonal therapy may be used as well.
  • Hyperplasia — thought to come from too much estrogen and occurs when the lining of the uterus becomes too thick and causes abnormal bleeding.

Other reasons why hysterectomies are done include chronic pelvic pain, heavy bleeding and chronic pelvic inflammatory disease.

What should I do if I am told that I need a hysterectomy?

Talk to your doctor. If you have a condition that is not cancer, such as fibroids, endometriosis or uterine prolapse, there are other treatments that can be tried first. In most cases, a hysterectomy need not be done immediately. There is usually time for you to get more information, look into possible alternatives or seek a second opinion. In cases of serious disease, such as cancer, a hysterectomy may not be optional and may be a life-saving choice. Before you decide what to do, it is important you understand your condition and your options for dealing with it. If you are suffering from continuing severe problems with pelvic pain and abnormal uterine bleeding and other treatments have not helped, a hysterectomy may provide relief. Studies have shown that a hysterectomy often improves sexual functioning and quality of life for women suffering from these problems.

How is a hysterectomy performed?

Hysterectomies are performed though a cut in the abdomen or the vagina. Sometimes an instrument called a laparoscope is used to help see inside the abdomen during vaginal hysterectomy. The type of surgery that is done depends on the reason for the surgery.

Are there any risks?

The risks associated with hysterectomy are among the lowest for any major surgery. However, as with any major surgery, problems can occur, including:

  • Blood clot in the veins or lungs
  • Infection
  • Bleeding during or after surgery
  • Bowel blockage
  • Injury to the urinary tract or nearby organs
  • Problems related to anesthesia
  • Early menopause (if ovaries are removed)

How long does it take to recover from a hysterectomy?

The length of your hospital stay and recovery will depend on the type of hysterectomy you had – abdominal, vaginal or laparoscopic. Most women stay in the hospital for one to two days, though some may stay up to four days. It takes longer to recover from an abdominal hysterectomy, with complete recovery usually taking four to eight weeks. Most women can return to normal activity in one to two weeks following a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy.

If my cervix was removed in my hysterectomy, do I still need to have Pap tests?

If you have had a total hysterectomy in which the cervix was removed along with the uterus, you will not usually require Pap testing. An exception is if your hysterectomy was done because of cervical cancer or its precursors. Ask your health care provider if you need to have periodic Pap tests. It is important for all women who have had a hysterectomy to have regular gynecologic exams as part of their health care.

More information about hysterectomies can be obtained by contacting:

Hysterectomy Fact Sheet

The National Women’s Health Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 800-994-9662

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