A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus. This procedure may be necessary for a variety of reasons, including painful uterine fibroids, a prolapsed uterus, cancer of the pelvic region, or endometriosis. A hysterectomy is often a last-resort option, after other treatment options have not been successful. Depending on the reason for the hysterectomy, either a portion of the uterus will be removed, or it will be removed entirely.
At MedStar St. Mary's, our gynecologists are trained in performing minimally invasive hysterectomies, so you are back on your feet faster, pain-free.
Some patients need pelvic reconstruction surgery after a previous surgery to correct a urogynecologic condition. Perhaps you had surgery for cancer in the pelvic region or needed major surgery for another reason. In any case, if you are experiencing symptoms such as urinary incontinence or pelvic pain, you may be a candidate for pelvic reconstructive surgery. Our urogynecologists have vast experience performing these procedures using minimally invasive approaches.
Common pelvic procedures include:
- Cystocele repair tightens the tissue that separates the bladder and vagina.
- Rectocele repair tightens the tissue that separates the rectum and vagina.
MedStar St. Mary's Hospital offers diagnosis and treatment of uterine fibroids. Fibroids, which are non-cancerous growths in the uterus, are made of muscle and can develop within the uterine wall or attach to it. Fibroids usually start out about the size of a pea and often grow when women are in their 30s and 40s.
The different types of fibroids are:
- Pedunculated fibroids are connected to the outside of the uterus by a stalk. A woman may feel the fibroid moving around, or may have pain if the stalk becomes twisted and blood supply to the fibroid is decreased.
- Subserosal fibroids lie on the outside of the uterus and usually cause few symptoms unless they become very large.
- Intramural fibroids are buried in the muscular wall of the uterus. They can cause pain and abnormal bleeding.
- Submucosal fibroids project into the uterine cavity and often cause heavy menstrual bleeding and bleeding between periods.
For many years, the most common form of treatment for fibroids was a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus); however, recent advances in medical technology and surgical techniques have led to the development of less invasive treatments that allow a woman to keep her uterus.
Treatment options for uterine fibroids include:
- Myomectomy: the surgical removal of fibroids from uterus
- Endometrial ablation: the laser removal of fibroids
- Hysterectomy: the removal of the uterus
- Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE): a minimally invasive treatment involving the injection of microscopic particles into particular targeted arteries to selectively block blood flow to the fibroids, causing the fibroids themselves to gradually and consistently shrink over time
Other options include:
- Pain Relievers
- Change in diet and exercise
- Complementary and alternative medicine