Five Considerations for Choosing your Hysterectomy Type

There are a wide variety of hysterectomy types available for women today, so it can be hard to know which hysterectomy choice is the best one for you. Your diagnosis and surgeon’s skill will both play significant roles in hysterectomy type, but there are other variables that will come into play, too. There are also choices to make which will affect which hysterectomy type is right for you.

Today, most women do not need to undergo an abdominal hysterectomy and all the extra risks and complications that go along with it. Instead, for most women there will be a minimally invasive surgery option that will be appropriate. You will need to work with your surgeon to determine your options, and you should seek a second opinion before making any final decisions. You should also consult with gynecologic surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive surgery to help you choose the right method for you.

Here are 5 things to consider when determining which hysterectomy choice is right for you.

  1. Your diagnosis.

In most cases, regardless of diagnosis, there will be a minimally invasive option for your hysterectomy. However, there are some cases where your surgical team may determine that an abdominal incision is best for you. For instance, some cases of cancer, endometriosis, extensive adhesions, larger fibroids, and a substantially enlarged uterus may dictate a larger abdominal incision. Even if your surgeon recommends a more invasive hysterectomy for a good reason, you should still seek a second opinion in case another surgeon would be able to offer a less invasive method.

  1. Your surgeon’s skill.

Not all surgeons have the same skills, experience, and training. Thus, your surgeon can only offer you options which he/she can perform or feels are appropriate for your situation. As such, you should always seek a second opinion before scheduling a hysterectomy to be sure you are choosing the right method and surgeon for you.

  1. Your body type and overall health.

Certain health conditions and anatomy issues can play a role in which hysterectomy type is best for you. For instance, women with a narrow vagina may not be able to have a vaginal hysterectomy. Women with health issues that restrict certain types of anesthesia may have more limited choices. Spinal or breath issues which affect positioning during surgery can impact which choices are available. Obesity may also affect hysterectomy choices. You and your surgeon will need to discuss your overall health and any anatomy concerns to determine which hysterectomy choices are right for you.

  1. Whether or not you want to keep your cervix.

If you want to keep your cervix, the bottom portion of your uterus, you may not be able to have a hysterectomy that involves delivering the uterus through the vagina. In addition, if morcellation is not an option, you may have to undergo larger incisions in order to remove your uterus if vaginal delivery is not an option.

  1. Whether or not you will be having additional repairs or procedures.

If you will be having additional repairs or procedures, you will need a hysterectomy type that will accommodate them and your hysterectomy. For instance, if you need an appendectomy or have endometriosis that needs to be thoroughly removed, a vaginal hysterectomy may not be the most appropriate hysterectomy type. You and your surgeon will need to choose the most minimally invasive option which will allow all needed work to be completed through minimal incisions.

Browse through the HysterSisters Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles with articles for your pre-op preparation and plan:  Questions to ask your doctor, herbs not to take pre-op, planning you’re your surgery, what to take to the hospital, and more.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Five Determining Factor for Hysterectomy Type

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