Choosing Between a Total or Partial Hysterectomy
One of the decisions women may have to make when facing a hysterectomy is whether or not to have a full or partial hysterectomy. A full hysterectomy removes both the uterus and cervix whereas a partial hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus only. It is important to note that the cervix is not a separate organ. It is the neck of the uterus. So depending on your diagnosis, it may not be possible to keep the cervix. For instance, if your uterus is prolapsing, the cervix is what is making its exit from the body! If you have adenomyosis, endometriosis, cancer concerns, or fibroids, the cervix could be affected pre- and post-hysterectomy.
If you choose da Vinci or other minimally invasive surgery, you would need to check with your doctor about the possibility of keeping your cervix. If he or she delivers the uterus vaginally, keeping the cervix won’t be an option. Find out the specific technique your doctor uses and also get a second opinion.
If you do opt to keep your cervix, it can be removed later if it is an issue. That procedure is called a trachelectomy. If your doctor indicates that he or she believes the cervix will have to go, though, it’s better to just get it done all at once and have one recovery.
Keeping or removing the cervix can be a very personal decision. There are doctors and patients who are adamant about each choice, each with information to back up their opinion. Be sure to get a second, and maybe even a third opinion, before you decide. A hysterectomy is a major surgery and a life-changing procedure. You will definitely want to be comfortable that you have made the right choice for you—one that best serves your particular medical needs.
Content Sponsored by: MIRI Women – The Minimally Invasive Reproductive Surgery Institute (MIRI) brings together highly skilled, board-certified specialists who are focused on women’s health. Our team of professionals is trained in advanced gynecology, specifically hysterectomy surgery. Philosophically, our partner physicians take a “less is more” approach to health care, by first treating patients with the most conservative therapies. MIRI focuses on physical healing, while emphasizing that a patient’s emotional well-being is just as important.