A hysterectomy is a surgery which removes either all or part of a woman’s uterus. In addition, a doctor may also remove the nearby fallopian tubes and ovaries. According to the Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, hysterectomies are the second most common surgery among women in the United States, right behind cesarean section deliveries.

So why do so many women require this type of surgery? There are several reasons. Below are some of the most common, according to the Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Prolapse of the uterus: When the uterus slips from its usual place down into the vagina, it has prolapsed, which can cause pelvic pressure and urinary and bowel issues.

Fibroids: These non-cancerous, muscular tumors grow in the wall of the uterus and can cause prolonged heavy bleeding or pain. If medications or procedures to remove fibroids fail, and a woman is near or past menopause and does not want children, a hysterectomy can cure fibroid issues.

Endometriosis: This occurs when the tissue lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus and onto the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other pelvic abdominal organs. The result is severe menstrual pain, chronic lower back and pelvic pain, pain associated with intercourse, or bleeding between periods.

Adenomyosis: When the tissue that lines the uterus grows inside the uterus walls, it can cause severe pain that can only be cured via a hysterectomy.

Cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix, or endometrium: A hysterectomy, or other options such as chemotherapy and radiation, may be required if you’re diagnosed with these cancers.

Chronic pelvic pain: When chronic pelvic pain comes from the uterus, a hysterectomy may be the only option for a cure.

Expert Advice: Minimally-Invasive Surgery

"The benefits of single-site robotic hysterectomy are numerous in comparison to the traditional open hysterectomy. The one-inch incision in the navel results in less pain, reduced body trauma, minimal scarring, a shorter hospital stay, reduced blood loss, and a quicker recovery and return to activities."
Robert S. Furr, M.D., FACOG
Director, Women's Surgery Center Director, AAGL Fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery, Clinical Assistant Professor of Minimally GYN Surgery, UT College of Medicine, Dept. of OBGYN, Division of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

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