Healthcare Tips

Hysterectomy 101: Why Women Get Them

January 12, 2022

If you’re a woman who suffers from heavy periods or extreme abdominal pain and nothing you’re trying to do to fix those problems is working, getting a hysterectomy might just be the right solution for you.

Hysterectomy—the surgical removal of the uterus—can improve your quality of life, especially if you find that you’re always dealing with a problem down there that gets in the way of good times with family and friends. If you ultimately decide a hysterectomy makes sense for you, you’re not alone; it’s the second most common surgery for women in the United States. (Cesarean section is the first.) More than 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the U.S. annually.

Here are a few reasons women have hysterectomies.

The decision to get a hysterectomy is a big one, though, and it usually comes as a last resort after alternatives, including medications and less-invasive surgical procedures are considered. Two big reasons are, following the procedure, women of childbearing age won’t be able to get pregnant and they won’t have periods either.

What happens during and after a hysterectomy

If you’re considering a hysterectomy, you probably want to know how it’s done. 

Ultimately, the type of procedure you’ll get and what will be removed is up to you and your surgeon. 

If you’re having an abdominal hysterectomy, your surgeon will remove your uterus—and possibly your cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes—through an incision in your lower abdomen. Hysterectomies can also be performed through an incision in your vagina or by less invasive methods, using laparoscopic or robotic procedures.

The surgery usually lasts from one to two hours and is performed under general anesthesia, which means you won’t be awake. Afterward, you’ll probably stay in the hospital for two or three days. The typical recovery time is about six weeks. If you have more questions about hysterectomies, you can visit our surgical website, where our surgeons, including our gynecologists and obstetricians, answer common questions about all the surgeries we perform at Hancock Regional. It’s another way we’re making health possible across East Central Indiana and beyond.