Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus (the womb). In the United States, hysterectomy is the second most common operation for women, surpassed only by cesarean section. Surgeons perform some 600,000 hysterectomies a year in this country. Its estimated that one in three American women will undergo a hysterectomy before she turns 60.
Why Have a Hysterectomy?
A woman might have a hysterectomy to treat a number of gynecologic disorders, including:
Abnormal bleeding: changes in a womans normal menstrual cycle marked by heavy to light bleeding between periods or excessive bleeding during periods. Abnormal bleeding is a symptom of an underlying condition such as poor nutrition, hormonal imbalance or tumor growth.
Fibroids: noncancerous tumors or growths that form on the inside or outside wall of the uterus. They are not always evident.
Uterine prolapse: the collapse or sliding of the uterus from its normal location in the pelvis into the vagina. Surgery is called for when symptoms-including chronic pain, frequent urination or bladder infections-interfere with a womans normal life.
Endometriosis: when tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus begins to grow on the outside of the uterus or on other organs. This condition is often painful.
Gynecologic cancer: abnormal growth of cells in the female reproductive system. Uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States. About 35,000 new cases and 3,000 deaths are recorded each year.
How Is a Hysterectomy Performed?
Two surgical techniques are used to remove parts of or the complete uterus: open surgery and laparoscopic surgery. In traditional open surgery, surgeons make a large incision, about 5 to 7 inches long, in the abdomen to access and take out the uterus. With laparoscopic surgery, surgeons insert small specialized tools, including a camera and cutting and grabbing instruments, through several small incisions to reach and remove the uterus.
Both types of surgery typically take several hours and require a hospital stay of three or four days and a home-recovery period of up to four weeks. Usually hysterectomy pain of short or long duration follows the operation.
What Are the Risks of a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy carries the normal risks of major surgery:
Bad reaction to the anesthesia
Allergic reaction to medicines
Blood clots in the lungs or legs
Pain caused by scarring
A hysterectomy also carries its own risks, including early menopause if the ovaries are removed; injury to nearby organs, such as the bowel, bladder or rectum; and hysterectomy pain.
Hysterectomy pain can develop throughout the pelvic and abdominal regions and even in the lower back. Hysterectomy pain is caused by adhesions, or scar tissue, that form naturally and quickly on delicate tissue in the pelvic region that is cut or burnt during the operation.
The adhesions act like threads of glue to hold together the injured tissue. Sometimes the adhesions join the incision sites to neighboring organs, such as the bowels or bladder. This binding can cause painful pulling or tightness inside the body.
How Is Hysterectomy Pain Treated?
Medication is the first treatment for hysterectomy pain. If the pain is severe and chronic, additional surgery may be performed to remove the pain-causing adhesions. However, even with the most advanced surgical techniques, new adhesions form. This often leads to a cycle of surgery/adhesion formation/surgery that can go on for years.
Alternative treatments for eliminating adhesions include herbal remedies and a form of physical therapy that breaks down the scar tissue, permanently eliminating it.
Frequently Asked Questions
has any lady had nerve pain in the back or legs caused by pressure from uterine fibroids?
although i didnt have a fibriod i had nerve pain going down my thigh which was caused by my ovary being stuck which caused a trapped nerve and low pelvic pain so try not to worry but yes if you have a large fibroid your uterus could adhere to a nerve and cause pain down your leg and the only way to free it i would think would be surgery and may think about a hysterectomy if the fibroid is to large, hope all goes well for you x
Do you have or use to have Uterine fibroids?
My mother was diagnosed with having several uterine fibroids.
The diagnosis was about three-four months ago. The emergency doctor said that he could not do anything about it until she met with her doctor.
My mother saw a gynecologist and she did nothing about the uterine fibroids. She disregraded the fact that my mom has several UF and prescribed her Elmiron to treat what she believes to be Interstitial Cystitis. According to the doctor my mother’s pain(s) and aches are due to IC and not the uterine fibroids. Yet, she did not test my mom for IC. She guessed and prescribed her Elmiron. How unethical, right?
My mom still has pain and aches from God knows what. We believe that her pain is due to the uterine fibroids that she has not been trated for and she is going back to the doctor very soon to make sure.
Her symptoms are severe pain in her lower back and abdominal area. She emphasizes her lower back pain as to being similar to the pain experinced during labor. Also, severe pain in her legs (she can hardly walk at times). In other words, severe pain from her waist down. When she urinates it hurts and burns. She urinates frequently. Her skin tissue feels extremely sore and hurts to the touch and her bones ache too. My mom says she is going crazy and I feel like doing something but I don’t know what. Doctors don’t treat her correctly nor pay any attention to her symptoms.
What should we do?
Bad MD, switch MD’s. Sometimes in this day and age it is hard to find a good one. Ask for a consultation appt. Most MD’s know what that is but their minimum wage office staff may not. You meet the MD in their office and talk. You can judge whether they will listen to you before your in the uncomfortable position of naked in stirrups. It let’s you keep the power in the relationship. I mean we interview employees, bands and many other things but not the MD’s who control our health? It is just like everything, there are good and bad. Some like to throw meds at you, I go for the ones who want to run tests to confirm diagnosis. The fibroid may be causing her uterus to swell, mine was the size of 6months pregnant when I had it removed. It shouldn’t hurt to urinate, could be a sign of something else, but not IC. You sound like you know what’s right, can you go with your mom. I mean it is sometimes overwhelming and you tend to forget things said. I don’t think throwing meds at her was the right thing to do. I don’t like her other symptoms like the bone pain. I think I would ask about an abdominal or pelvic ultrasound and or CT. Maybe even a MRI, talk to the new MD and ask how they intend to diagnosis what is wrong. Definitely a pelvic and some blood and urine workup. So sorry she’s sick, hope she gets better soon. Good luck and stick to your guns.
What could be wrong with my mom? Cystitis and/or uterine fibroids?
My mom is in excruciating pain every day.
She was diagnosed with having Cystitis the first time she went to the emergency room at our local hospital, but the second time we went back, after a few days because the pain was unbearable, she was diagnosed with having uterine fibroids. She was told by the emergency room doctors to make an appointment with her doctor so that she could recommend her with a gynecologist.
After an unsuccessful week of trying to make an appointment with the gynecologist, she finally made one and was charged 5.
My mom was positive that the uterine fibroids was the cause of her pain/symptoms, but the gynecologist had another answer to her symptoms. According to the doctor uterine fibroids don’t cause so much pain/aren’t that painful. She, the doctor, believes that my mom suffers from Cystitis too. She prescribed my mother Elmiron. The gynecologist says she should see results in about 1-2 months.
Should my mom wait 1 or 2 months to see if Elmiron really works…..what if it doesn’t? What if the uterine fibroids are the ones causing the pain. My mother is so confused and cries constantly because the pain she feels is too much.
Her symptoms are the following:
Excruciating pain from the knee down, both legs.
Her toes ache a lot.
Her lower abdomen aches, specially the sides (where the thigh and lower abdomen meet).
She also has back pain.
She feels the need to pee frequently but sometimes the pee doesn’t come out.
When the pee does come out it hurts like hell….does not burn…..it hurts! Her lower abdomen also hurts.
Do you have or had Cystitis or uterine fibroids? If yes, are my mother’s symptoms normal?
I’m so scared and concerned for her. I feel so bad for her because it breaks my heart to see her cry.
FYI: My mom has diabetes and she is 52 yrs old.
I would get a second opinion from another gynecologist. I don’t know if the gynecologist is being forth coming with your mom. You should go to a couple more of them to get some more information. Your mom’s doctor should also send her for an pelvoabdominal ultrasound or a transvaginal ultrasound. This will help detect if there are any uterine fibroids.
I hope that this helps.
multiple small uterine fibroids?
i am 30 yrs girl.have a daughter of 3.5yrs.
last 2mths back i got detected with uterine fibroids small but multiple.
i have a lot of pain during my menses but the flow is alternatively much and less.i mean 1 mth will have heavy flow and then another will have normal.but pain in both the cases is just unbearable.i just cannot afford to stand on my legs.i have big clots falling during my flow in menses.
.i started with homoepathic treatment the pain is lil better.not fully but still better.
i have heard that yoga cures this disease or say problem.
due to this i have a lot of back ache.and am a lot anaemic too thats wat my blood report says.
i even have a lot of emotional mood swings during periods due to the pain and irritability.
now can anyone suggets me
1.should i continue to take the homoepathic treatment.
2.should i try with yoga,if yes than what asans are to b done esp 4 this.
3.anything other suggestion to me though i am lil careful abt my being anaemic.
I also had this problem. I did not try yoga and I cannot see how that would cure them. I was done having children and had other GYN issues which kept me from having more children – so when they continue to multiply and grow, causing more pain and bleeding I had a partial hysterectomy. A piece of an ovary was left in order to allow me to experience a natural menopause. You are young and I assume you have the one child, therefore all avenues should be considered before going the route I did. See a GYN which deals in high risk situations.
Am I going to feel like a new person after my total abdominal hysterectomy?
Im 47 yrs old and not menopausal yet. The problem is I have developed uterine fibroids which are causing me to have a lot of pelvic, back and right leg pain.
Its been reccomended I have a total abdominal hysterectomy. He says if he can, he will leave my left ovary to help with hormones and keep me from having instant surgical menopause.
My friend told me I would feel like a new woman and so much better I will wonder why I didnt do it 2 yrs ago when this whole thing started. Of course she had a laproscopic vag hysterectomy and they left her ovaries in, so I dont think she quite understands.
The surgery for me will be open, not laproscopic, and I may have to have both ovaries removed depending on how they look, and I will stay in the hospital for 2 days.
Do you have any thoughts on this?
I also need to add, I have had 2 ceserean sections, so I am not a stranger to pelvic surgery. It probably makes the dread a lil more except, I realize I can do it, and know how much its going to hurt post operatively. My gut hurts so bad now at times, I usually go alone somewhere and cry because I dont want anyone to know how bad its bothering me.
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