Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of part or all of the uterus and may include removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries too. The procedure is often required due to a diagnosis of cancer, fibroids, endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, or other conditions.
Doctors can perform hysterectomies through an incision in your lower abdomen or through your vagina. A hysterectomy can also be performed using a laparoscopic or robotic surgical approach, which uses long, thin instruments passed through small abdominal incisions. With a robotic approach, the surgeon uses a computer to control the surgical instruments.
A number of Desert West physicians perform hysterectomies using the da Vinci Surgical System, a robotic method. Women who are candidates for this minimally invasive procedure experience a quicker recovery, significantly less pain, and better outcomes than traditional open surgery.
A hysterectomy ends your ability to become pregnant. If you think you might want to become pregnant, ask your doctor about alternatives. In the case of cancer, a hysterectomy might be the only option. If you have other conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis, or uterine prolapse, you might be able to try less invasive treatments first.
Women who have hysterectomies will often quickly start experiencing menopause symptoms. Depending on how these symptoms affect your lifestyle, you may need short-term hormone treatment. Talk to your Desert West physician for more information about this procedure and recovery.