Choices You Need To Make Before Your Hysterectomy
Before you have your hysterectomy, you will need to make some choices about your cervix, ovaries and hysterectomy type. The more you know about your choices, the better decisions you can make for your immediate and long term health.
1. Should I keep my cervix?
The first decision you need to make is whether or not you will be keeping your cervix when you have your hysterectomy. The cervix is the bottom part of the uterus so it can be removed along with the rest of the uterus or be cut from the fundus (upper portion) and retained.
DISEASED OR HEALTHY?
Your specific diagnosis may play a role in whether or not you will have the option to keep your cervix; the issue affecting the fundus may also be affecting the cervix. Diagnoses such as HPV, abnormal uterine bleeding, or cancer are examples of diagnoses which may require the removal of the cervix along with the rest of the uterus. Many doctors also recommend the removal of the cervix for endometriosis oradenomyosis diagnoses.
If your cervix is considered unaffected by your diagnosis, then you will need to determine if the pros outweigh the cons for retaining it. There are mixed opinions from both women and medical professionals regarding whether or not there are benefits to keeping the cervix after a hysterectomy, so it is very important that you speak to your doctor and get a second opinion about what is right for you. This can be a very personal decision, so feel free to talk to your doctor about your thoughts, concerns, and feelings so you can make the best decision for you.
2. Should I keep my ovaries and/or fallopian tubes?
Another choice you’ll need to make is whether or not to keep your ovaries. The younger you are, the more critical it can be to keep your healthy ovaries as estrogen plays a critical role in overall health.
AGE, OVERALL HEALTH, GENETICS
Besides age, there are several other factors you’ll need to consider when making this decision. Are you a candidate for hormone replacement therapy (HRT)? Do you have underlying health issues which will be impacted by an oophorectomy? If you have certain diagnoses, genetic issues, or cancer concerns, then your pros and cons will be affected by those conditions. It can be helpful to consult with a medical professional who specializes in your condition so together you can determine how an oophorectomy might help or worsen your situation.
3. What type of hysterectomy should I have?
The type of hysterectomy which might be best for you can depend on a number of factors: your decisions about the cervix and ovaries, your diagnosis, your overall health, and your surgeon’s abilities. If your surgeon only offers you an abdominal hysterectomy, you should seek a second opinion regardless of your diagnosis and situation. Today, many surgeons have the skills and experience to perform some type of minimally invasive surgery for almost all situations, so before having an abdominal hysterectomy you should be sure you have no other options.
Your surgery stay will most likely depend on the type of surgery you have and whether or not you have complications. If you have underlying health issues which can be negatively impacted by surgery, you may need to stay for additional observation regardless of surgery type. Typically, your stay will be shorter for a minimally invasive hysterectomy and longer for an abdominal, or open, hysterectomy.
To read more about each of these decisions, you can read the full article about the 3 Choices to Make for Your Hysterectomy.
Browse through the HysterSisters Surgery Options and Choices Articles covering a variety of topics to learn more valuable information about a hysterectomy.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: 3 Choices to Make for Your Hysterectomy.