Complete Hysterectomy Not the Same as a Total Hysterectomy
A complete hysterectomy is not the same procedure as a total hysterectomy, although many people use the terms interchangeably. The uterus, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed during a complete hysterectomy. Only the uterus and the cervix are taken out in a total hysterectomy. When speaking with her doctor a woman should take care that they are using the same terms when discussing potential surgery.
Most women face the challenge of a complete hysterectomy in response to a severe diagnosis. Cervical cancer and ovarian cancer are two of the diseases for which a complete hysterectomy may be prescribed. However, large uterine and/or ovarian fibroid tumors may also necessitate the procedure. A complete hysterectomy might also be required in cases of chronic endometriosis which has migrated to other organs or which has caused adhesions. Because a complete hysterectomy causes the immediate onset of surgical menopause, it is important that a woman be fully aware of the side effects which will ensue. In circumstances where a malignancy may be involved there is generally no other medically accepted option other than a complete hysterectomy. In fact, the operation should probably be pursued with alacrity since untreated cancer of the reproductive organs can spread quickly.
A woman who has been fully informed about what to expect after a complete hysterectomy will find that her post operative recovery period will proceed much more quickly. She will also be able to decide prior to her operation what cause of therapy she may want to pursue after her operation. Therefore, a woman should not be afraid of taking the initiative to do personal research about the complete hysterectomy procedure. In addition, she should also not shy aware from asking her doctor any and all questions which she may have.
Any hysterectomy ends a woman’s ability to bear a child. After a complete hysterectomy a woman will begin to experience the symptoms associated with menopause: Hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, decreased sexual response and/or sexual desire. A menopausal woman may also become depressed and she is at greater risk for developing osteoporosis. When menopause occurs suddenly due to a complete hysterectomy these symptoms may hit a woman with greater ferocity.
While these indications are certainly distressing they should not prevent a woman from having an operation which she and her doctor have decided must be done. All women eventually face menopause and there are treatments which can lessen the problems it creates. The symptoms of menopause also fade with time. After a complete hysterectomy a woman may want to consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In recent years, however, HRT has come under increasing fire for having risks that outweigh its benefits. For that reason a woman may want to discuss other approaches to relieving any signs of menopause. Alternative therapies include vitamins, herbs, exercise and changes in diet. Meditation and aromatherapy are also helpful for many women.
Undergoing a complete hysterectomy will change a woman’s life. If the condition for which it is being considered is not life threatening a woman may want to consider trying other, less invasive treatments first. Still, the maladies brought on by a complete hysterectomy can be treated. A woman who needs a complete hysterectomy should not allow fear of menopause alone dissuade her.
Check Out Our Brand New e-Book –> Women’s Hysterectomy Stories – The Essential Guide by: Ruth Steeves. Click Here Now for Instant Access!