Common Hysterectomy FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Hysterectomy FAQ What is a common hysterectomy FAQ? This FAQ is for you, if you have any questions about this procedure or similar female issues. This page was created to help you find the answers you need, and includes some of the most commonly asked questions about the hysterectomy procedure.

I am Dr. Kenneth DeSandies, a gynecologist with over 30 years of experience in this field, and I specialize in providing care for women who have female reproductive system concerns or issues. If you do not find your questions answered in the hysterectomy FAQ list below then please feel free to ask me your questions on this page by filling out the form below.

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Some of the most common Hysterectomy FAQ include the following list of questions, and the corresponding answers are also included. This is not a complete list, just some of the most commonly asked questions, and if you do not find your question then I will be happy to personally address it after you fill out the form below.

  • What is a hysterectomy?
  • What is the cost of hysterectomy surgery?
  • What are the reasons for hysterectomy surgery?
  • What is a gynecologist?
  • What causes bleeding after pregnancy?
  • Is cancer after hysterectomy possible?

Hysterectomy FAQ #1: What is a hysterectomy?

Hysterectomy FAQ A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure which removes the uterus, and in some cases this may be done together with the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This procedure may be needed for a number of reasons, and is one of the most common operations performed in the United States today.

There are a number of hysterectomy questions that are common. These questions normally involve the type of procedure chosen, as well as the recovery factors involved.

A hysterectomy can be done using a number of different methods, but in many cases this procedure is much less invasive than it was even fifteen or twenty years ago. Recovery can take as little as a few weeks or last several months, depending on the amount of tissue removed and the surgical methods used.

Sometimes a radical hysterectomy may be needed, and in addition to removing the uterus and cervix this procedure involves taking extra tissue along the sides and top of the uterus as well. Sometimes the cervix will be left in place, and only the uterus is removed.

One type of surgery is an abdominal hysterectomy, and this is very invasive and may take the longest time to recover from. Approximately 70% of the hysterectomies performed in the USA today involve this surgical method.

An open procedure means a scar that is usually between five and seven inches long on your lower abdomen and the incision can be vertical or horizontal. Once the incision is made your uterus is removed, and then you are stitched or stapled back up.

Other procedures are referred to as minimally invasive procedures, and they do not involve the highly invasive techniques, large scar, or longer recovery times and higher complication risks. A vaginal procedure can be used which eliminates any abdominal scarring, and offers a quicker and easier recovery time.

Laparoscopic procedures are also used in hysterectomy surgery. This method also goes through the vaginal area instead of the abdominal area, so it is less invasive and a much smaller incision is needed, which means a faster and more comfortable recovery.

Some hysterectomy procedures are performed using robot assisted technology. The physician uses very small surgical tools, so no damage is done to the tissues, and the robotic device is controlled by the physician and is highly sensitive.

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Hysterectomy FAQ #2: What is the cost of hysterectomy surgery?

Hysterectomy FAQ The total cost for a hysterectomy can vary widely, depending on the location and specific facility that you choose, plus numerous other factors. The procedures performed, the specific methods used, and any complications that occur can affect the cost of your operation.

The average range for this type of surgery starts at slightly more than seven thousand dollars, and can run up to twenty thousand dollars or more. This question is one of the most commonly asked hysterectomy questions, and most health insurances will cover some or most of the costs associated with this procedure.

The total cost of your surgery will include many different expenses, and this is what makes the price vary so widely. The initial physician visits and any pre-procedure testing are not usually covered in the cost of the procedure itself.

One cost involved is the hospital room expense, and this can range from one or two days up to a week or more in cases where serious complications occur. Since you are charged for the hospital room by the day then the number of days that you stay will affect the total cost of the operation.

The surgical suite and recovery room are other expenses that should be included to determine the total cost of your surgery. The drugs and supplies you need while recovering in the hospital will also affect your total price.

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Hysterectomy FAQ #3: What are the reasons for hysterectomy surgery?

Hysterectomy FAQ There are many different reasons why a hysterectomy may be recommended by your doctor. Fibroids are one common reason, and if you're finished having children then this may be an option if nothing else helps the pain and bleeding this condition causes.

A uterine prolapse may also cause a hysterectomy to be needed. In this situation your uterus actually collapses and will start to protrude into your vaginal canal, and uterine removal is the best option for treatment.

One of the most commonly asked hysterectomy faq involves cancer, and this disease can occur in the uterus, ovaries, or cervix. Sometimes this disease can cause you to undergo a radical hysterectomy, and extra tissue is removed as a precaution against any cancerous cells remaining.

A hysterectomy may be advised if you have endometriosis, abnormal pelvic pain that is chronic, or unusual bleeding that can not be controlled. Sometimes this surgery is also done because of the uterus thickening up and causing complications.

There are often other options in addition to a hysterectomy, and other treatments should always be attempted first before this surgical procedure is considered. An experienced and knowledgeable specialist in female health may offer new options which give the same results without the risks or possible complications involved.

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Hysterectomy FAQ #4: What is a gynecologist?

Hysterectomy FAQ A gynecologist is a physician who specializes in female reproductive health, disorders, and diseases. Usually this field is combined with obstetrics which involves pregnancy and childbirth, since these are also women's reproductive health issues, and the physician may be called an OB/GYN for short.

A gynecologist can address any concerns that you may have regarding your reproductive organs. This is the doctor who performs your routine pelvic exams and PAP smears, as well as providing family planning services such as birth control and information on available options.

A gynecologist is also the physician that you should address your hysterectomy FAQ to if these questions are not answered on this page and you don't want to ask here. This type of specialist is very familiar with the female reproductive organs, and the possible disorders and diseases that can occur.

Every woman should have a gynecologist, who is visited at least every year for preventative exams and testing. Regular visits and preventative care can greatly lower your risks of serious diseases like cancer, and make the need for a hysterectomy less likely.

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Hysterectomy FAQ #5: What causes bleeding after pregnancy?

Hysterectomy FAQ One of the most common hysterectomy faq concerns bleeding after your pregnancy is finished. In most cases bleeding after labor and delivery is normal, as long as the amount of blood being lost is average, and this can last for up to a month in some cases.

The normal bleeding that occurs after childbirth is called lochia, and it will typically start out bright red and then fade to pink after a week or two. Between one and ten percent of women who have given birth within the last six weeks will experience bleeding complications including postpartum hemorrhage, and this can lead to maternal death.

Postpartum hemorrhaging is a dangerous condition that can occur after you have delivered your child, and this is true even if you have had a C-section instead of a vaginal delivery. With this complication your bleeding will be severe, and the loss of blood is dangerous to your health and life.

A postpartum hemorrhage can happen for a number of reasons. In some cases damage to the uterus has occurred, whether naturally in the childbirth process or because of injury during a surgical removal of the baby.

Infection can also cause you to bleed excessively, and you may experience chills, an unusual or foul smelling discharge, and severe pain. Bleeding that is considered excessive will result in a maxi pad becoming soaked in an hour or less, and that occurs for several hours.

Most of the time any abnormal or dangerous bleeding will occur within a twenty four hour period of delivery, but this is not always the case and you can experience serious bleeding problems at any time within the six week recovery period for childbirth.

Sometimes abnormal bleeding may occur because the uterus is not contracting adequately after childbirth, and if massage and medications do not eliminate the problem then a hysterectomy may become necessary to correct this problem and save the life of the mother. Other cases may involve the birth of a very large baby, which causes damage to the uterus that can not be repaired.

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Hysterectomy FAQ # 6: Is cancer after hysterectomy possible?

Hysterectomy FAQ One of the most common hysterectomy faq that women have concern cancer and preventative testing after a hysterectomy has been performed. Can you get cancer if you have had this surgery, and do you need to continue with pelvic exams and PAP smears?

To answer one of the most frequent hysterectomy faq, in many cases it is possible to get cancer even if you have had a hysterectomy. The type of procedure that you had done will determine what types of cancer you are at risk for.

If you had a hysterectomy but you still have your cervix or ovaries then these organs can have cancerous cell changes occur. Unless your cervix was removed because you had a total or radical hysterectomy it is still important for you to undergo PAP smears and other exams on the advised schedule.

If your hysterectomy was performed because of cancer, or pre-cancerous changes in the cervical cells, then you should discuss the recommended exam types and schedule to make sure you follow all of the advice given by your doctor. This will lessen the chance of any future problems.

In some cases you may require an additional surgery if you are determined to have cancer after you have had a hysterectomy. You may need your ovaries or cervix removed, as well as other cancer treatments to eliminate the disease.

Cancer of the female reproductive organs does not have to mean a death sentence in most cases, because these types of cancers are usually curable if they are caught early enough and treated appropriately. Regular screening and preventative exams can catch these cancers before they can spread, so that they can be completely removed usually.

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Was your Hysterectomy FAQ answered?

Hysterectomy FAQ The questions listed above are some of those that I encounter in my practice most frequently, but they are just a fraction of the many hysterectomy FAQ that I answer on a daily basis. If you did not find the question or answers that you are seeking then please fill out the form below with your questions and I will answer as soon as I can.

As a specialist with more than thirty years of experience in women's health I have extensive knowledge about hysterectomy procedures, and the other options that may be available to you. If you're experiencing female problems, or want a second opinion because a hysterectomy has been advised by another physician, please contact my office to find out how I can help you get the answers and the treatment that you're looking for.

*Special Note*

I'm a full time physican and cannot always answer questions in a timely manner. It can be days or weeks before I can answer some questions.

I make sure to attend to the needs of my in office patients, and get to the online questions when I have time.

If you have an urgent matter, please contact my office for an in office appointment on my Contact Us page.

Thank you for understanding!

What Other Visitors Have Asked and Had Answered!

Click below to see the questions from other visitors to this page...

Hysterectomy FAQ - I'm hurting from lifting heavy weights after my hysterectomy, what should I do? 
Question: I lifted weights and carried heavy items upstairs 10 days post-op, now I am hurting. What should I do? Answer: I believe you did …

Hysterectomy FAQ - Can an OB/GYN put back my cervix? 
Question: Sex has changed for me and I would like my cervix back. Can designer vagina treatments put back that tight feeling of a cervix? Answer: …

Hysterectomy FAQ - I have a large fibroida in my uterus, is a hysterectomy the only way to go? 
Question: Dear Dr. DeSandies, I am 49 years old and have a large fibroid in my uterus. My doctor told me yesterday, I'm going to need a TOTAL …

Hysterectomy FAQ - Can scar tissue form many years after a complete hysterectomy? 
Question: Can scar tissue form many years after a complete hysterectomy? Can it grow into a mass? Could it become cancerous? Can it be …

Hysterectomy FAQ - How is the cervix repaired after removal? 
Question: When I had my total abdominal hystorectomy, my doctor told me my cervix had to be removed. Also, I had what is called a radical hysterectomy. …

Hysterectomy FAQ - Can Sex Still Be Enjoyable After A Hysterectomy? 

Hysterectomy FAQ - What's the pros and cons of a vertical or horizontal incision? Not rated yet
Question: If the doctor asks the patient to decide between a vertical or horizontal incision, what are the pros and cons of each? Answer: …

Hysterectomy FAQ - I'm having big blood clots during my period, what should I do? Not rated yet
Question: I'm having big blood clots during my period, should I talk to a doctor about having a hysterectomy? Answer: Dear Bernadette, …

Hysterectomy FAQ - What are the percentage rates of having a high risk hysterectomy?  Not rated yet
Question: What is the likely complication rate with a woman 62 years of age with high risk factors including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, …

Hysterectomy FAQ - Does this sound like I will be next to have a hysterectomy? Not rated yet
Question: Dear Dr. Desandies, I live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My name is Christina. I just have a question. My maternal great-grandmother, …

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