Types of Hysterectomy
What is a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. The uterus is a muscular, pear-shaped organ that is part of the female reproductive system. Sometimes, your doctor will also recommend removing the cervix, which connects the uterus to the vagina. Your doctor may also recommend removal of the ovaries where eggs are formed, and the fallopian tubes which the eggs travel through to get to the uterus during a woman's child bearing years.
What are your options?
There are four different ways to perform a hysterectomy:
Maintaining the Cervix
LSH leaves the cervix intact whereas in a TLH procedure the cervix is removed. Some surgeons believe that leaving the cervix intact may reduce the risk of urinary incontinence and pelvic support problems, as well as increase sexual stimulation. Because the cervix is left intact, women who have this procedure will still need to have yearly pap smears. Not all women are candidates for the LSH procedure. It is best to talk with your doctor about your options.
Removal of Ovaries
Depending on your medical diagnosis, your ovaries may not be removed. The removal of your ovaries may lead to symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, or vaginal dryness. These symptoms may be reduced by alternative therapies. Ask your doctor about your options.
Less Invasive Options
Unlike your mother's hysterectomy, you now have several different procedure options when it comes to your decision to have surgery. Today's hysterectomy choices include LESS, LSH, and TLH which are innovative, minimally-invasive procedures that can be modified by your doctor to address the treatment and relief of your symptoms. These new advanced surgical techniques reduce the pain and minimize the scarring from surgery, typically require only one day in the hospital, and generally get you back to your normal routine within a few weeks.
Benefits of Laparoscopic Hysterectomy 
Risks & Complications
Before making your decision to have surgery, it is important to understand the risks. There is always a probability that your laparoscopic hysterectomy may be converted to an open procedure if there are unforeseen complications during your procedure such as difficult anatomy or excessive bleeding. While major risks are rare, all surgery should be considered carefully. With laparoscopic surgery, as with all surgery, there are the typical risks of reactions to medications or problems resulting from the anesthesia, bleeding, infection, problems breathing, blood clots in the veins or lungs, inadvertent injury to other organs or blood vessels near the uterus, and even death, which is rare. The risk for serious complications depends on the reason the surgery is needed and your medical condition and age, as well as on the experience of the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Ask your doctor what you should expect after surgery, as well as the risks that may occur with surgery.
Alternatives to Hysterectomy
If you determine that you are not ready for surgery, you may have other options. If your periods are very heavy or last a long time, your doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy. Medication does not work for all women but is an option for some. Another alternative to surgery is endometrial ablation, which can be performed in the office. Endometrial ablation is a medical procedure that removes the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. After endometrial ablation, you may no longer have any bleeding, but a percentage of women do continue to experience lighter menstrual cycles.
Know Your Options
Your doctor or surgeon will help you determine what treatment is best for you. Some factors that your doctor will consider before surgery are obesity, history of prior surgery, and any underlying medical conditions. Review a list of suggested questions to help guide you through your discussion with your health care provider.
Ask questions. Seek a second opinion. Make an informed choice.
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Do You Need a Hysterectomy?
If you are considering hysterectomy, you're not alone. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, about one-third of American women will have a hysterectomy by the time they are sixty years of age. Over 615,000 women in the United States will undergo a hysterectomy this year.
Discover Less Invasive Options