For many women, a hysterectomy is an elective procedure that can help treat several gynecological concerns like irregular bleeding, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or chronic pelvic pain. Women considering a hysterectomy must face many important decisions before they can undergo their procedure. First, you must be 100% positive that a hysterectomy is the best choice for your reproductive health needs. But even after you are sure that you want to pursue a hysterectomy, you must then decide which type of hysterectomy is right for you. To help guide women in their decision-making process, our board-certified gynecologists have taken some time to discuss the differences between total and partial hysterectomies.
During a total hysterectomy, the entire uterus and cervix are removed. A total hysterectomy can be performed by making an abdominal incision around the bikini line or with a less invasive vaginal or laparoscopic technique. In some cases, one or both of the ovaries as well as the fallopian tubes may be removed as part of a total hysterectomy. It’s common for women with increased risks of gynecological cancers, including cervical cancer, to undergo a total hysterectomy as a preventative measure.
In many cases, patients may only require a partial hysterectomy, during which the uterus is removed, but not the cervix. Partial hysterectomies can also be performed abdominally, vaginally or laparoscopically. After undergoing a partial hysterectomy, which leaves the cervix intact, it’s important to keep up with your regular annual screenings and Pap testing.
A woman’s choice between a total or partial hysterectomy, as well as the technique used to perform her procedure, depends on several factors. These may include the reason for the hysterectomy, whether it is elective or medically-required, the size of your uterus, and your past medical history. Before making any decisions, we must first complete a comprehensive diagnosis of the woman’s general and reproductive health and come to a mutually-agreed upon course of action.
Regardless of which procedure option you are considering, a hysterectomy is a serious surgical procedure. It’s important to consult with an experienced, board-certified gynecologist to hear and thoroughly understand all of your options (including potential non-surgical alternatives) before making any final decisions. For more information about your hysterectomy options or to request an appointment, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more recommendations, news, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.