Hysterectomy can be the best solution for some issues affecting the uterus or pelvic region, including uterine and cervical cancer. Northwest Women’s Center offers both traditional and minimally-invasive hysterectomy procedures to help women in Houston, TX, get the most appropriate care for their needs.
Hysterectomy Q & A
Does a hysterectomy remove the uterus and the ovaries?
A hysterectomy procedure removes all the uterus or just a part of it, leaving the cervix (the lower portion of the uterus) in place. The ovaries may also be removed in a procedure called an oophorectomy that can be performed at the same time.
When is a hysterectomy performed?
A hysterectomy can be recommended for the treatment of several conditions, including:
- very heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
- uterine or cervical cancer
- large or symptomatic fibroids
- persistent pelvic pain
- endometriosis, a painful condition that occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus begins growing outside the uterus
- uterine prolapse, a condition that occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become weak and the uterus drops or descends into the uterus, causing pain and other symptoms
Because a hysterectomy removes all or part of the uterus, women who have the procedure can no longer become pregnant. For women who would like to become pregnant, alternative treatment options may be available for some conditions.
What happens during a hysterectomy?
Hysterectomies can be performed using minimally-invasive techniques that rely on small or internal incisions or using traditional “open surgery” techniques through larger incisions in the belly. Minimally invasive hysterectomies are also called laparoscopic hysterectomies, and they use a slim, flexible instrument called a laparoscope. The scope is equipped with a tiny camera that sends real-time video from “inside” the surgical site to a video monitor where they’re magnified. The doctor performs the surgery using special instruments that can be controlled with the scope so only small incisions are necessary. Some minimally-invasive hysterectomies can be performed through incisions in the vaginal wall, eliminating the need for any incisions through the belly.
Are minimally-invasive hysterectomies better than open surgeries?
Minimally-invasive surgery has been associated with faster healing, less tissue damage and less postop discomfort compared to surgeries that use larger incisions, but some women are not candidates for minimally-invasive techniques. For instance, open surgical techniques are often a better approach in women who have uterine cancer since the larger incision helps the doctor ensure all the cancerous tissue has been removed.