Hysterectomy is when doctors remove a woman’s uterus. Depending on a woman’s health needs, doctors may remove fallopian tubes and ovaries as well.
Doctors recommend hysterectomies for a variety of health reasons, including the following:
- Uterine fibroids
- Vaginal prolapse
- Gynecologic cancers, including cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer
- Persistent vaginal bleeding that doesn’t respond to treatment
- Chronic pelvic pain (only if absolutely necessary)
- High risk of developing ovarian cancer
Do I need a hysterectomy?
- After a hysterectomy, you can no longer carry a baby in your uterus.
- Hysterectomy will induce menopause when ovaries are removed.
If you decide that hysterectomy is the best treatment for you, a minimally invasive surgical procedure may be an option. For many patients, doctors use robotic surgery (e.g., da Vinci) to perform hysterectomies.
Alternatives to hysterectomy
It’s always important to explore your treatment options.
Depending on your condition and its severity, there could be an alternative to hysterectomy. There are, for example, several approaches to treating uterine fibroids in addition to hysterectomy, including these:
- Myomectomy: Doctors remove just the fibroids.
- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) or uterine artery embolization (UAE): Doctors inject small particles into the fibroid arteries and cut off their blood supply.
- Hysteroscopy: Doctors insert a thin, telescope-like instrument through the vagina to remove fibroids within the uterine cavity.
Your doctor also may suggest medicines to control your pain and use a watch and wait approach before recommending surgery.
Why choose Rush for hysterectomy
- At Rush, you’ll find OB-GYNs with expertise in performing a wide range of procedures to treat endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Procedures performed at Rush include myomectomy, uterine fibroid embolization and hysteroscopy as well as minimally invasive hysterectomy using robotic surgery.
- OB-GYNs at Rush have direct access to gynecologic oncologists, who specialize in treating endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. They often use robotic surgery to perform hysterectomies and other procedures.
- The gynecologic cancer program at Rush was one of the first in the region to fight gynecologic cancers with a team approach. The program brings together gynecologic oncologists with radiation oncologists, genetic specialists and pathologists to tailor cancer care to each patient.
- As a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecology Oncology Group, the gynecologic oncology team at Rush participates in clinical trials and basic research. This work is aimed at improving early detection and treatment for gynecologic cancers.