Types of Hysterectomy

This appears to be one of the most misunderstood aspects of hysterectomy.  I was not clear on this either, before I had a hysterectomy.  I found people would hear about my surgery and then would label it with terms that they were familiar with but did not accurately describe my surgery.  Here are the three types of hysterectomy surgeries as found on the Mayo Clinic Site:Image

Supra-cervical hysterectomy (also referred to as a partial or subtotal hysterectomy): This is the removal of the upper part of the uterus only and leaves the cervix in place (first image pictured above).

Total hysterectomy:  This involves the removal of the uterus and cervix and is the procedure I had (bottom left image).  However, if I told people I had a total hysterectomy they assumed that meant the removal of ‘everything’ which is actually a:

Radical hysterectomy: involve removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries (far right image).  This occurs most often when cancer is present.

To add to the confusion, these are types of hysterectomy based on what is removed.  Types of hysterectomy can also be classified based on the type of surgery performed.  More on that in the next post!


The Beginning

Hmmm, this one sounds interesting…I’m curious how things turned out!

Thoughts and so much more

After watching a certain celebrity on TV discussing her hysterectomy on live TV  I thought to myself hmm………..  Yes she looked great in her tight leather look pants and  superhigh heels  but she  had probably  spent hours in make up and hair and had a wonderful stylist to make her ready for the waiting viewers.  That is not the true face of hysterectomy  I am!!!!!

Let me introduce myself.  I am Sally and I am a 40-year-old mother of two boys who has just endured what I can only describe as the worst few week of my life!! Yes my life!!  I had a Total laparoscopic Hysterectomy at the beginning of September this year.  The reason I went ahead with this “Ahem” routine surgery is because I had a fibroid the size of a grapefruit in my uterus.  This is my story from the creation of the Vault through my recovery and onwards.

My journey…

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My Own Process

A story about one woman’s experience with hysterectomy. She does discuss her experience of having one child and if this is something that is hard for you to read, you may want to skip it. Check in tomorrow though for a posting from a woman who was not able to have children before her hysterectomy.

Finding Hope In Change

Lately I have been reading a lot of blogs about hysterectomies because I want to know how others are recovering from the surgery and what they’ve experienced along the way. These blogs are written by women who have this surgery prophylactically (preventatively) or because of medical necessity (fibroid tumors, cancer, etc.). Some of them still have their ovaries so their recovery is different than what I’ll be experiencing because they aren’t going through menopause. It’s still helpful to read their blogs because they detail what it’s like to be limited with movement, restrictions on lifting items over a certain weight and other physical challenges.

They’re also, often times, in their 20’s and 30’s, childless, and struggling with the realization that they can never carry a pregnancy. Maybe they are newlyweds and had been waiting a few more years before starting a family. Maybe they are single, still looking for a partner, and weren’t quite ready to have a baby…

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Do you really need your ovaries removed during a hysterectomy?

Article from the Daily Mail:

Do you REALLY need your ovaries removed during a hysterectomy? How one in three doctors still recommend procedure – defying national guidelines

By Daily Mail Reporter

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises pre-menopausal women to keep their ovaries if they are undergoing hysterectomies and aren’t at increased risk of ovarian cancer.

But it seems practicing gynecologists continue to go against this recommendation.

According to a new study from Baystate Medical Center, one in three doctorsstill recommend removal of healthy ovaries from women undergoing hysterectomies who haven’t yet entered menopause.

Needless or necessary? One in three doctors recommend removal of healthy ovaries from women undergoing hysterectomies who haven¿t yet entered menopause, according to a new study from Baystate Medical Center

Needless or necessary? One in three doctors recommend removal of healthy ovaries from women undergoing hysterectomies who haven¿t yet entered menopause, according to a new study from Baystate Medical Center

Regardless of a physicians’ age, sex, training, or geographic region, the recommendations to remove healthy ovaries remained constant.

The results, published in the journal Menopause, were based on a survey of nearly 500 American gynecologists.

Doctors argue that the heart- and bone-protective benefits of keeping functioning ovaries before menopause outweigh the smaller risks of future ovarian cancer.

Every year, about 600,000 women get hysterectomies.

It is the second most common surgery for women after Cesarean sections, and many women have the procedure for benign but painful conditions such as fibroid growths or endometriosis.

In a pre-menopausal woman, removal of ovaries can cause a sudden loss of estrogen and often triggers hot flashes, mood changes, sleep disturbances, headaches, and a decline in feelings of well-being.

Over time, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, loss of libido, bladder dysfunction, and depression may also occur.

For postmenopausal women, however, removal of the ovaries is seen to be a smart option to protect against ovarian cancer.

But even after menopause, ovaries continue to produce significant amounts of the androgens testosterone and androstenedione which inhibit bone resorption, and stimulate bone formation.

Low levels of androgens and estrogens are linked to lower bone density and a higher risk of hip and vertebral fracture in postmenopausal women.

According to William H. Parker, a gynecologist at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, postmenopausal women who have had their ovaries removed may have an even greater risk of osteoporosis.

‘I think we must conclude that a more balanced view of the risks versus benefits of retaining the ovaries in pre-menopausal women would help doctors counsel their patients more effectively and accurately,’ said study author Dr Oz Harmanli, chief of urogynecology and pelvic surgery at Baystate.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2397498/Do-REALLY-need-ovaries-removed-hysterectomy-How-doctors-recommend-procedure–defying-national-guidelines.html#ixzz2ehuepK1V

The more I read, the more I believe I was very lucky to have the surgeon I did.  I feel like she gave me a lot of information and options that it seems not everyone is getting from their doctors.  I think this type of information needs to be far more accessible to people.  So, what do you think?  Were you given all the information you needed to make good decisions at the time of your surgery?

Under Pressure – Myomectomy

A blog post about someone who had a myomectomy (removal of a fibroid).

Organic girl's Blog

Mid April – (slightly TMI)

It all began with one night after going out with some friends, I had a drink so when I got home I decided to drink a lot of water before I went to bed. Little did I know I would be up all night having to pee. After a sleepless night I asked my mom what she thought it might be, she suspected a UTI, then another friend of mine scared me into going to Urgent Care to make sure it wasn’t in my kidneys. So to Urgent Care, we went to get it checked out, I gave a urine sample and waited. The doctor came in and stated that I did have a UTI (which I later that night found out that I did not have) but wanted to do a CT scan of my abdomen because it was very distended. So distended that…

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48 Hours Post-Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy Recovery

A post-operation update from one of the blogs I follow. I love the photo of the heart-shaped dressings! There are also some good pre- and post-op tips. Enjoy!

BRCA2: In This Together

Aug 2: 1pm Surgery, 3pm Recovery Room, 6pm Home.


I was calm, relaxed and felt totally confident about being in capable hands. I attribute some of that to the Successful Surgery meditation CD I listened to every night before I went to bed for the past 10 days and the first few mornings in addition before the surgery. Jeff was joking around with the nurses, my oncologist checked in and it was an atmosphere of positive energy.

I left the prep room immediately after they administered my first sleeping cocktail of anesthesia. I was out before we hit the hallway, just a couple of feet! My next memory is waking up in recovery groggy and with some discomfort, mainly from the removal of the catheter and the gas bloating from the air they fill your abdomen to see and separate the organs. My legs felt restless and I couldn’t…

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