With hysterectomies being the second most performed surgery on women and over 500,000 women a year in the US receiving some type of hysterectomy, it’s important that women take charge in their own health and ask the important questions they need answers to– even if they are uncomfortable to talk about with your doctor. Here are five things you should know about hysterectomies.
- Your sex life is not over. Depending on what type of hysterectomy you’ve had (partial, total, or radical) the times will vary for when it’s okay to be intimate again. Be sure to ask your doctor how long you should give yourself to heal before having vaginal intercourse.
- If you have endometriosis, hysterectomy may not be a cure. Endometriosis is when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus. It can cause severe cramps and chronic pain, but removing the uterus is not a guarantee of relief from those symptoms. Check with your doctor for less invasive procedures and treatments.
- If you need a hysterectomy that includes the removal of your ovaries, you will abruptly lose the organs that create female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ask about estrogen hormone therapy, as it may help with the transition into menopause. Discuss the pros and cons and what’s right for you.
- Less invasive surgery is possible. Many doctors no longer have to make a long cut on the abdomen to remove the uterus, and many hysterectomies today are performed laparoscopically or robotically assisted. Tiny incisions are made instead for less blood loss and shorter healing time in the hospital. If your doctor does not do minimally invasive surgeries, you may want to check with another doctor who does to see if you are a candidate.
- Emotional healing can take time. Women have had many different reactions after their hysterectomies. Some are overjoyed that their pain or cancer is gone, others mourn that they can no longer have children. Make sure you give yourself time to heal and process those emotions. There are several support communities for women who are going through this, like hysterectomy.org.
At Nevada Surgery and Cancer Center we prioritize our patient’s health and want to answer any and all questions you have. Dr. Lynn Kowalski founded the NVSCC in 2005 and has since performed her 1,000 robotic-assisted surgery with the Da Vinci Robotic Surgery System. She is an experienced and compassionate doctor, and has even authored the book Not Your Mother’s Hysterectomy. If you are in need of a doctor for your hysterectomy or are interested in a consultation, contact NVSCC at 702-733-1689 or leave a message on our website.