A hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women in the U.S. (C-section is the most common).
A hysterectomy is a surgery to remove a women’s uterus, often due to conditions including fibroids, uterine prolapse and others that cause pain and bleeding. Surgery is typically considered after other treatment options haven’t been successful.
Fairview gynecologists use the most advanced, minimally invasive surgery technique whenever possible, called a total laparoscopic hysterectomy. It provides women the benefits of the surgery, as well as quicker recovery and less pain than a traditional open surgery.
Richard Mayerchak, MD, an OB/GYN at Fairview Clinics – Princeton, is skilled at performing hysterectomies laparoscopically and says patients are often surprised at how much easier the surgery is than what they expected. “Many women will put up with pain, bleeding and other symptoms for years because they are worried about the recovery and side effects, but surgical advances have made this treatment so much easier than ever before.”
Below Dr. Mayerchak shares the most common questions he gets from women about hysterectomies, and of course – the answers.
1. How much work will I have to miss?
This is typically the biggest concern for my patients – how long do they need to stay home from work while they recover. The answer always surprises people the most. Most women can go to back to work about two weeks following a laparoscopic hysterectomy. That’s a month quicker than an open abdominal surgery, which used to be the norm.
2. Will I have a big scar?
Not with a laparoscopic hysterectomy. Three, ½ inch incisions are all that are needed for this surgery. Tools and a lighted camera are inserted through those small cuts, allowing the surgery to view the operation on a video screen. A traditional open surgery involves a 5 to 7 inch incision.
3. How long will I need to stay in the hospital?
Patients actually go home the same day they have surgery if they have a minimally invasive surgery like this. That means you get to recover in the comfort of your own home.
4. Will I go into menopause right away?
This depends on whether the ovaries have to be removed along with the uterus. In the majority of cases, the ovaries are not removed, which means women will experience menopause when their body would naturally go through it. If the ovaries need to be removed, a woman will enter menopause.
5. Will having a hysterectomy change intercourse?
No, actually I hear from my patients all the time that sex is better following surgery as they no longer have bleeding or pain.
If you experience pain, abnormal period bleeding or other conditions – talk to your doctor about your treatment options to find out what is best for your individual health. To make an appointment with Dr. Mayerchak or any Fairview gynecologist –call 855-FAIRVIEW or request an appointment online.