Hysterectomy in Cincinnati, OH
If you suffer from a condition that requires a surgical procedure such as a hysterectomy, Crescent Women’s Medical Group, led by board-certified gynecologists (OB-GYN) Drs. Chandra Gravely and Cindy Hansel, is here to help. Our team of medical specialists provides the latest state-of-the-art technology and know-how to address women’s health problems while providing excellent gynecologic and obstetric care for women in the Cincinnati and Blue Ash areas of Ohio.
What Is A Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus or womb, and in some cases, one or both of the fallopian tubes or ovaries, and possibly the cervix, which is the lower end of the uterus, may be removed along with the uterus itself. There are several types of hysterectomy:
- A complete or total hysterectomy refers to the removal of the cervix, as well as the uterus. This is the most commonly performed type of hysterectomy.
- A partial or subtotal hysterectomy, or a supracervical hysterectomy, removes only the upper part of the uterus while leaving the cervix in place.
- A radical hysterectomy is a procedure that removes the uterus, cervix, upper part of the vagina and supporting tissues. This procedure is performed to treat some forms of cancer.
How Common Are Hysterectomies?
A hysterectomy is the second most common major surgery performed on women in the United States after cesarean section. Over 600,000 hysterectomies are performed yearly, and approximately 30 percent of women in the United States undergo a hysterectomy by age 60.
How Is A Hysterectomy Performed?
Hysterectomies may be performed through either an incision in the abdomen (abdominal hysterectomy) or the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy). In some cases, a laparoscope may be used to help the physician see inside the abdominal cavity. The type of surgery performed depends on the condition being treated by the surgery. Abdominal hysterectomies are more often performed than vaginal hysterectomies and usually require a longer recovery period.
Why Do Women Have Hysterectomies?
Hysterectomies are most often performed to address the following conditions:
Uterine fibroids. Fibroids refer to common, benign tumors that grow in the uterine muscle tissue. More hysterectomies are done to treat a fibroid condition than to address any other problem of the uterus. In many cases, fibroids may cause no symptoms and require no treatment, and many will naturally shrink following pregnancy or menopause. But in some cases, fibroids may be painful or cause excessive bleeding.
There are several alternatives to a hysterectomy to treat fibroids, particularly for younger women who hope to have children in the future. In some cases, fibroids may be treated with medication or other treatments designed to shrink the fibroids. But, this treatment offers only a temporary solution, and once the medicine is discontinued, the fibroids will return. A surgical procedure called a myomectomy may remove only the fibroids without removing the uterus. Another relatively new procedure to shrink fibroids is called uterine artery embolization and is achieved by placing small plastic particles in the blood vessels that feed the fibroids to block blood flow.
Endometriosis. This is another benign and very common condition that affects the uterus and often leads to hysterectomy. In fact, endometriosis is the second leading reason for hysterectomies. Endometriosis is most commonly found in women during their 30s and 40s, particularly in women who have never been pregnant. Endometriosis is caused when endometrial tissue, or the inside lining of the uterus, begins to grow on the outside of the uterus and may even grow on other, nearby organs. This condition may cause painful menstruation, abnormal vaginal bleeding and sometimes infertility. Endometriosis often resolves itself after menopause.
Women who suffer from endometriosis may be treated with hormones and medicines that lower their estrogen levels. Surgery to remove the patches of endometrial tissue causing the symptoms may be performed using a laparoscope, or through a larger incision in the abdomen. A hysterectomy is generally performed only after other treatments have failed.
Uterine prolapse. This is a benign condition in which the uterus moves down from its normal location into the vagina. Uterine prolapse is due to weakened and stretched pelvic ligaments and tissues, and may affect other organs, such as the bladder. Childbirth, obesity and loss of estrogen after menopause often contribute to this condition. About 16 percent of hysterectomies performed are done to treat this condition.
Treatment may include estrogen therapy, exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles or the use of a pessary, or plastic ring inserted into the vagina, to help support the uterus in its proper location. In more severe cases, surgery may restore the sagging organs to their normal location and repair the neighboring tissues. A hysterectomy may be performed if the prolapse is causing severe problems.
Cancers affecting the pelvic organs account for only about 10 percent of all hysterectomies. Endometrial cancer affecting the lining of the uterus, uterine sarcoma, cervical cancer and cancer of the ovaries or fallopian tubes often require a hysterectomy to remove malignancies. Depending on the type and extent of cancer, other kinds of treatment, such as radiation or hormonal therapy, may be applied as well.
Other conditions leading up to a hysterectomy include chronic pelvic pain, heavy bleeding during or between periods and chronic pelvic inflammatory disease.
If you have the choice to forego a hysterectomy, hormonal support combined with changes in lifestyle may provide alternate options that will take care of heavy bleeding, endometriosis, fibroids and even polyps. Current treatment options include:
- Medical/hormonal treatments
- D&C and hysteroscopy
- Endometrial ablation
- MRI–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS)
- Laparoscopy and endometriosis excision
- Uterine artery embolization (UAE)
These techniques differ greatly and results may vary, according to the patient’s condition and the support that is given pre and post-surgery. Therefore, it is recommended that you accompany whatever method you choose by making the healthiest lifestyle choices and modifications you can make. A lot of women respond wonderfully to the nutritional measures, and several report that dietary modifications and lifestyle changes help them make a speedy recovery from a variety of procedures — including a hysterectomy!
For excellence in gynecologic and obstetrical care, contact Crescent Women’s Medical Group, serving patients in the Cincinnati and Blue Ash areas of Ohio. Our team of specialists provides solutions and treatments for a variety of women’s medical conditions, including hysterectomy and alternatives to hysterectomy, as well as lifestyle and dietary recommendations.