Hysterectomy refers to the surgical removal of the uterus. This article provides information regarding the complications associated with this surgery.
Hysterectomy is a surgery that involves the removal of the uterus. There are different types of this surgery. They are:
Total hysterectomy: The entire uterus and cervix are removed.
Partial hysterectomy: This involves the removal of the uterus, while keeping the ovaries and/or cervix intact.
Total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: The ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed.
Radical hysterectomy: This surgery might be recommended for women who have been diagnosed with cancerous growth, and involves the removal of the cervix, ovaries, uterus, lymph nodes, etc.
Estrogen is the female hormone which is responsible for various bodily processes. It is mainly produced by the ovaries. If the ovaries are removed during the surgery, it might lead to a hormonal imbalance. The sudden onset of menopause, which brings about hormonal imbalance, is the major complication of this surgery. Women who undergo the surgery in which the ovaries are also removed are at a risk of surgical menopause.
This surgical procedure is usually recommended in case of women who have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, persistent heavy bleeding, uterine prolapse, etc. Development of cancerous growth or an increased risk of developing such growths in the uterus, ovaries, or the cervix may also be the reason why a woman might be asked to undergo this procedure. Though this procedure might lower the risk of such conditions, or even alleviate the symptoms associated with the aforementioned medical conditions or menstrual irregularities, some women might develop distressing symptoms due to the hormonal imbalance that occurs after the removal of uterus and ovaries.
Sudden onset of menopause may occur in premenopausal women. Under such circumstances, the affected women are likely to experience physical as well as emotional symptoms. These include:
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbance
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of bone mass
- Night sweats
As with any surgery, there’s the risk of bleeding, infection, and anesthesia-related complications. During the surgery, general anesthesia is administered, which can lead to allergic reactions and some minor nerve damage. No matter how successful the surgery is, a woman has to deal with certain unpleasant symptoms. Menopause is associated with physical discomfort and emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and irritability. Therefore, a sudden occurrence of menopause in premenopausal women can be stressful.
The complications such as infection or bleeding depend on the type of surgery performed (open surgery or laparoscopic surgery), and whether it involves complete or partial hysterectomy. Hormone replacement therapy might be recommended to help women deal with the symptoms that are brought upon by surgical menopause.
Hysterectomy is called an ‘elective surgery’ since it is not performed as an emergency requirement. It is primarily performed in the cases of uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, persistent vaginal bleeding (menorrhagia), endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain during menstruation, prolapsed uterus, etc. It should be performed only when other treatment options have been exhausted. Women should undergo this surgery, only if it is necessary.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.