A hysterectomy is an operation to remove a woman’s uterus (womb). The uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. In some cases, the ovaries and fallopian tubes also are removed. These organs are located in a woman’s lower abdomen. The cervix is the lower end of the uterus. The ovaries are organs that produce eggs and hormones. The fallopian tubes carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.
There are several types of hysterectomies:
Complete or total: Removes the cervix as well as the uterus. (This is the most common type of hysterectomy.)
Partial or subtotal: Removes the upper part of the uterus and leaves the cervix in place.
Radical: Removes the uterus, the cervix, the upper part of the vagina, and supporting tissues. (This is done in some cases of cancer.)
Often one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed at the same time a hysterectomy is done.
If you haven’t reached menopause (when you haven’t had a period for 12 months in a row), a hysterectomy will stop your monthly bleeding (periods). You also won’t be able to get pregnant. And you may have menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. If both ovaries are removed as well, you will suddenly enter menopause.
What is the reason for the heavy bleeding? Does she have large fibroids or ovarian tumour etc., in which case hysterectomy may be necessary. Hysterectomy can be done either vaginally or by laproscopy (Key Hole Surgery) or by open abdominal surgery. It is a major surgery and though quite safe, there is a slight risk of bleeding, infection or injury to the internal organs. Recovery takes a few weeks. However for heavy bleeding without any large tumours, there are now simpler, safer and quick methods for permanent treatment such as Uterine Ballon Ablation, Microwave ablation, or use of Hormonal IUCD. All of these can be done within 15 minutes, require no hospitalization and permanently cure the bleeding problem. However the suitability of each patient for a particular procedure has to be determined by the gynaecologist.