When to Consider a Hysterectomy

No one wants to hear they need a hysterectomy. Losing any part of your anatomy can be frightening, but it may be the best solution for your quality of life and overall health. But how do you know it’s the best choice for you? 

Women who live in or near Hackensack, New Jersey trust Dr. Khashayar Shakiba at Women’s Pelvic Surgery of North Jersey. He specializes in pelvic reconstructive surgery, and as a board-certified OB/GYN, he helps women suffering from a wide range of pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, and other gynecological issues with skill and compassion.

He never recommends a hysterectomy lightly, but there are some circumstances that render it necessary. Here are some of the most common.

Cancer

No matter where it appears on or in your body, it’s best to get rid of cancer quickly and completely. If it can be surgically removed, that’s often the best option.

Dr. Shakiba may be able to halt the spread of your cancer by removing your uterus, but if it’s already moved to your ovaries, cervix, or endometrium, he may have to remove all the affected tissue.

If you were born with a specific gene that puts you at high risk for uterine cancer — the BRCA gene — you may opt to have an elective hysterectomy to reduce your chances of getting cancer in the future. 

Uterine fibroids

Although uterine fibroids aren’t cancerous, they can be real troublemakers. If you have these growths in your uterus and experience heavy bleeding and abdominal pain, Dr. Shakiba may first remove the fibroids (called a myomectomy) to stop the symptoms; if they persist, a hysterectomy solves the problem.

Endometriosis

If the lining inside your uterus goes rogue and begins to grow outside instead (endometriosis), it can cause severe pain, heavy bleeding, and irregular periods. In some cases, medication or hormone therapy can resolve the issue. But when they don’t, a hysterectomy may be in order.

Akin to endometriosis, adenomyosis occurs when your uterine lining grows into the muscle tissue of your uterus. If medication doesn’t reduce your symptoms, this, too, may be a reason to consider a hysterectomy.

Uterine prolapse

Women who have delivered multiple babies vaginally, are postmenopausal, or are obese may experience uterine prolapse, where the uterus slips out of position and sinks down into the vaginal canal. This often causes urinary and bowel problems and creates a constant feeling of pelvic pressure. 

When exercises and pelvic-reinforcing surgical procedures don’t help, hysterectomy removes the problem.

Hyperplasia

Excess estrogen in your system throws everything out of whack. Some of the classic signs are heavy and irregular periods and hyperplasia, a thickening of the uterine lining. While not dangerous in and of itself, it puts you at a higher risk for cancer, so a hysterectomy may be necessary.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

Most infections respond well to antibiotics, and pelvic inflammatory disease does, too. But if you have a severe case that’s causing intense pain, medication may prove ineffective. To stop the infection from spreading and damaging healthy tissue, you may need a hysterectomy.

Pregnancy and delivery complications

Only one in every 533 women experiences placenta accreta, a serious pregnancy complication where the placenta attaches itself very deeply into the mother’s uterine wall. During delivery, the placenta is so deeply embedded that the mother is at risk for extreme blood loss. This may warrant a C-section delivery and a hysterectomy.

Pros and cons of a hysterectomy

The biggest pro and only reason to undergo a hysterectomy is to preserve your health and reduce your risk for even more serious problems. The good news is that when you’re under Dr. Shakiba’s care, you have the peace of mind knowing that he has extensive experience, uses the latest technology, and truly cares about you.

He always administers the most conservative treatments possible, but when surgery becomes necessary, he performs minimally invasive procedures using the da Vinci Robotic System, which includes a 3D high-definition monitor, specialized instruments, and the ability to assist Dr. Shakiba in making the most precise movements during your surgery.

The pros of this technique include:

The downside to undergoing a hysterectomy is the fact that you won’t have a uterus anymore, which means you’re done with periods, and you won’t be having any more children (at least not in the traditional way). If your ovaries are also removed, you’ll instantly begin menopause and may experience any or all of the classic symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and low libido. 

Talk to Dr. Shakiba about your condition and your options. If you decide together that a hysterectomy is in your best interest, you’re in the best hands.  

Author
Womens Pelvic Surgery

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