Choosing to undergo a hysterectomy is obviously not a decision that can be made lightly without considerable thought and deliberation. A hysterectomy can be used to help address several common gynecological concerns including irregular bleeding, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or chronic pelvic pain. However, because the results of this gynecological surgery are final, many women may prefer to try other treatment options when available and if recommended and appropriate for them. For those who have made up their mind and are sure that they would benefit most from a hysterectomy, the next important choice is understanding if they are a better candidate for a total or partial hysterectomy.
A total hysterectomy is the most commonly performed variation of the procedure. During surgery, the patient’s uterus and cervix are removed. In some cases, depending on the specifics of each patient, the ovaries and fallopian tubes may also be removed during the procedure. Some women who have the risk of developing gynecological cancers like cervical cancer may undergo a total hysterectomy as a preventative measure.
Another alternative that may be a more appropriate choice for some women is undergoing a partial hysterectomy. Unlike a total hysterectomy, a partial hysterectomy only removes the uterus, but not the cervix. A partial hysterectomy can also be performed abdominally or laparoscopically. Because the cervix (and other pelvic organs) are still intact following a partial hysterectomy, women must keep up with their regular annual screenings and Pap testing following the procedure.
Choosing which type of hysterectomy to undergo depends on several factors including whether the procedure is elective or medically required, the size of the uterus, the patient’s past medical history, and more. Regardless of which procedure option she is considering, a woman must first consult with an experienced, board-certified gynecologist in order to thoroughly understand all of the available treatment options to determine what is best for her needs. For more information about your hysterectomy options or to request an appointment today, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. You can also follow along with us on Facebook and our medical spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics, on Instagram.