Womb Removal Surgery

Hysterectomy, or womb removal surgery, is a significant medical procedure that carries with it a whole list of questions for many women. We will help to shed light on what a hysterectomy is, when it should be considered, and what to expect.

What is a Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a surgical operation to remove the uterus, which is the organ located in a woman’s pelvis where a baby develops during pregnancy. While this procedure can bring an end to a host of women’s health problems, it also means that pregnancy will no longer be possible.

This surgery may involve the removal of the entire uterus or just a part of it. In some cases, the cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes are also removed. Since each patient’s reason for undergoing this surgery differs, the approach taken will depend on the individual’s healthcare needs and the underlying reason for the surgery.

Indications of a Hysterectomy

The reasons for undergoing a hysterectomy can be grouped into non-cancerous conditions, cancerous conditions, chronic pelvic pain or infection, and abnormal uterine bleeding. Each category has its unique set of circumstances for the patient and doctor to consider.

Many women undergo hysterectomies to treat non-cancerous conditions that severely affect their quality of life. One such condition is the development of uterine fibroids, which are benign tumours causing heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and pressure on other organs.

Endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus grows outside of it, can also necessitate a hysterectomy when other treatments fail. Additionally, uterine prolapse, where the uterus descends into the vagina due to weakened pelvic floor muscles, may also require this surgery.

For some, a hysterectomy is a vital step in treating cancerous conditions such as cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, or endometrium. This procedure can be life-saving and is usually accompanied by other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, depending on the stage and spread of cancer.

Chronic pelvic pain or recurrent pelvic infections that do not respond to conventional treatments can also lead a doctor to recommend a hysterectomy. This option is considered after all other less invasive treatments have been exhausted and the quality of life of a patient is significantly affected

Abnormal uterine bleeding, which can be due to hormonal imbalances, fibroids, or polyps, may require a hysterectomy when it is severe and unmanageable through medication or other surgical procedures. This condition can lead to anaemia and severely impact an individual’s daily life.

Preparing for Womb Removal Surgery

This procedure is not a small one and requires significant preparation. Getting ready for a hysterectomy involves several steps, including thorough medical evaluations, discussions about the surgical approach (abdominal, vaginal, or laparoscopic), and understanding the post-surgery recovery process. 

You should fully discuss your concerns and preferences with your doctor to make informed decisions about your care. Pre-surgery instructions typically include fasting, medication adjustments, and arranging for post-operative support at home.

Procedure of Uterus Removal Surgery

The procedure for a hysterectomy varies depending on the method chosen and the individual’s health condition. 

An abdominal hysterectomy involves an incision in the lower abdomen to remove the uterus, which may require a longer hospital stay and recovery period. 

Vaginal hysterectomy, where the uterus is removed through the vagina, and laparoscopic hysterectomy, a minimally invasive surgery using small incisions and a camera to guide the surgery, offer shorter recovery times and less post-operative pain.

Regardless of the method, the goal is to address the health issue while minimising any impact on the patient’s life. Post-operative care is crucial for a smooth recovery, including managing pain, preventing infection, and gradually returning to normal activities. 

Women are advised to follow their healthcare provider’s instructions closely and attend all follow-up appointments to ensure the best outcome.

Hysterectomy surgery in Singapore

A hysterectomy is a big life decision and should be made together with a supportive and knowledgeable healthcare partner. At W Gynae, we specialise in providing personalised healthcare for women of all ages and various conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The recovery period can vary depending on the type of hysterectomy performed (abdominal, vaginal, or laparoscopic). Typically, for an abdominal hysterectomy, the recovery time can be 6 to 8 weeks, while for vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomies, it might be shorter, around 3 to 4 weeks. However, full internal healing may take a few months. Patients are advised to follow their doctor’s recommendations closely during recovery.

If the ovaries are left intact, you may not enter menopause immediately after a hysterectomy. However, some women experience menopause earlier than they might have if they hadn’t had the surgery. If the ovaries are removed along with the uterus, you will enter menopause immediately after the operation, regardless of your age, and may experience menopausal symptoms that require management.

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Alternatives to a hysterectomy depend on the condition being treated. Options may include medication, lifestyle changes, non-invasive procedures like uterine artery embolization for fibroids, endometrial ablation for heavy bleeding, or minimally invasive surgeries to remove fibroids or endometrial tissue. It’s crucial to discuss all available options with your healthcare provider.

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