A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the uterus, or womb. The doctor may also remove the fallopian tubes, ovaries and/or the cervix during the same surgery. It is important to know that most women undergoing hysterectomy with no need their ovaries removed, and will therefore not experience menopausal symptoms after surgery. The following terms help describe the organs removed during surgery:
A supracervical hysterectomy or subtotal hysterectomy removes the uterus but leaves the cervix in place, which some research suggests may reduce the risk of pelvic organ prolapse and preserve sexual function. This is sometimes referred to as “partial hysterectomy.”
Total or “traditional” hysterectomy removes the uterus and cervix (but not the ovaries and tubes).
A radical hysterectomy may remove all of these organs (the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries), plus the pelvic lymph nodes.
There are 4 different ways to perform hysterectomies:
Abdominal (also known as Open): this hysterectomy method requires a 4- to 8-inch horizontal incision below the belly button to remove the uterus and cervix and, in some cases, other organs. The most invasive kind of hysterectomy, this type is performed under general anesthesia, with a typical hospital stay of 3-6 days and up to 6 weeks of recovery time.
Vaginal: this hysterectomy method uses a smaller incision inside the vagina to remove the uterus and other organs, as determined by your doctor. This incision is not visible externally. Vaginal hysterectomies usually require a 1-3 day hospital stay and up to 4 weeks’ recovery time.
Laparoscopic: with this hysterectomy method, a thin, lighted, telescope-like instrument called a laparoscope along with small surgical instruments are inserted through 3 to 4 tiny incisions in the navel and abdomen to detach and remove the uterus. There are different types of laparoscopic hysterectomies. Based upon your clinical need, your doctor might perform a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy (LSH), allowing you to keep your cervix, or a total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH).Unlike more traditional methods, laparoscopic hysterectomy usually requires only 1 day or less in the hospital and only 6 days of recovery time. Patients also experience less scarring and pain compared to other hysterectomy methods.
Robotic Hysterectomy: Similar to a laparoscopic hysterectomy, except that the specialized laparoscopic instruments are connected to robotic arms, allowing the surgeon to have enhanced dexterity and visualization.
“Dr. Shashoua performed my daVinci hysterectomy on June 22nd and I highly recommend Dr. Shashoua and this procedure. Three weeks after the surgery I was walking, biking, back at work and enjoying life. (Of course, no sex or heavy lifting for several more weeks). I must confess to feeling practically euphoric that I no longer have fibroids, a uterus, or a period at all. I don’t want to underestimate the importance of making the decision to have a hysterectomy. I ended up in the emergency room getting a four bag blood transfusion and it was there that I met Dr. Shashoua. From the beginning Dr. Shashoua was very open and straightforward, he clarified my situation and presented several options. I gave it some thought and it became clear that what I wanted was a hysterectomy. My husband was included in all of the proceedings and we both felt confident and optimistic heading toward the big day. It didn’t hurt that almost every female I encountered throughout the process (some who had dealt with fibroid issues of their own) had nothing but glowing praise for Dr. Shashoua. All throughout my experience from the emergency room encounter to the office visits and then to Advocate IL Masonic to have the surgery I was treated with respect and courtesy and transparency. I won’t go so far as to say it was a “fun” experience but it was a time I will remember as the fortunate moment that I decided to take control of my life and to stop the nightmare that living with my fibroids had become. Thank you Dr. Shashoua, from me, my husband, my mom, and the rest of my family and friends who were kind enough to worry about me. And to anyone out there reading this website as I did when I was making my decision – the daVinci hysterectomy was a very manageable experience in every way. Dr. Shashoua is an excellent doctor. My health and my quality of life has improved dramatically.”
“I am 46 years old and it has been 3 months since my hysterectomy for uterine fibroids performed by Dr. A. Shashoua. I had four uterine fibroid tumors, two within the uterus and two outside with attachments to the uterus. The fibroid tumors were very large, with one measuring over 7cm. I was experiencing heavy bleeding during my periods that progressively worsened over a 3 year time period. Previously, when I went for my annual examinations with my former gynecologist and reported what I was experiencing, she would simply say “it’s probably hormonal”, and did not pursue it any further. Unfortunately, things progressed and I went from annoyance, to dread, to ultimately being terrified of my period. I was finally sent for further testing when the bleeding became much worse. It was only after being referred to Dr. Shashoua that I was properly diagnosed and treated. Fortunately, my condition was able to be treated surgically with a laparoscopic hysterectomy and the assistance of the daVinci robot. This allowed for very small incisions and a shorter recovery period. My surgery was performed at Advocate IMMC with a one day stay at the hospital. My surgery and recovery went very well. My nursing care was excellent. Upon release from the hospital, I took a total of only four tablets of the pain medication that was prescribed post-surgically, since I found my pain level was well controlled with Ibuprofen. I am a podiatrist and I was cleared to return to work after 2 weeks. I am now participating in all my physical activities without issues, and without having to plan them around my period. In addition to addressing the heavy bleeding, I no longer experience cramping, bloating, or back pain, and I can void my bladder much easier now. I cannot find the words to express how truly fortunate and grateful I am having gone through this experience. Thanks to Dr. Shashoua I have my life back. I only wish I could have gotten to him sooner.”