There are many reasons why women have hysterectomies or the surgical removal of their uterus. For some it is due to heavy menstrual bleeding, Stage 4 endometriosis, uncontrolled bleeding after pregnancy or even High-grade HPV. There are three different types of hysterectomy.
1. Complete or Total Hysterectomy
This type of hysterectomy involves removal of both the uterus and the cervix. The majority of women undergoing hysterectomies have a complete or total hysterectomy. This type of hysterectomy allows or can allow you to keep your ovaries, so you still have your hormones. if this is the case, they also will remove your fallopian tubes as that is believed to be the origan for ovarian cancer. Depending on why you have a hysterectomy will depend on whether or not you will continue to have Pap smears. If the reason you had your uterus removed was due to high grade HPV or dysplasia, then you will need to continue to have a Pap smear. If the reason was for bleeding, then Pap smears are no longer necessary (for the most part). This type of hysterectomy can also be performed by laparoscopic surgery making the recovery much quicker.
2. Partial or Subtotal Hysterectomy (Supracervical Hysterectomy)
This type of hysterectomy involves removal of the upper two-thirds of the uterus and leaves the cervix intact. Some believe a partial or subtotal hysterectomy helps to reduce sex-related consequences. This type of hysterectomy can only be performed by abdominal surgery.
3. Radical Hysterectomy
During a radical hysterectomy, the uterus, the cervix, the upper part of the vagina, and supporting tissues are removed.
When both ovaries and both fallopian tubes are removed during a hysterectomy, it is referred to as a hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (BSO).Removal of the ovaries before a woman reaches natural menopause often causes induced or medical menopause.
Did you know that women who have hysterectomy's but keep their ovaries tend to still go through menopause sooner than women who do not have hysterectomy's. It is believed that this happens because there is there is a lack of blood flow to the ovaries after a hysterectomy.
It is important to know what type of hysterectomy that you have so you can be sure you are getting the proper preventative care. If you had a hysterectomy but still have your cervix you will still need to continue pap smears AND if you had a hysterectomy and no longer have a cervix BUT your hysterectomy was because of high grade HPV then you will need to continue pap smears.