One of the appeals of partial hysterectomy as compared to other hysterectomies is that the ovaries are left intact with this procedure. However, there are still some changes that can’t be avoided. While the ovaries remain, the body will not function exactly as it did before the surgery.
Usually, as a result of this particular type of hysterectomy, the blood flowing to the ovaries decreases and eventually stops completely. This leads to symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, one of the most talked about symptoms of the condition.
Before undergoing any type of surgery, a patient should educate herself on the procedure. She should know what to expect during the operation, during initial recovery and over her lifetime. Here are some of the things she should know:
• This is a surgical procedure and there are certain risks that accompany all surgeries. While these operations are performed commonly without incident, any time general anesthesia is involved there is a mortality risk—even if it is minimal.
• The body may continue to exhibit symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle even though a portion of the uterus has been removed.
• Tissue left behind may continue to cause some discomfort, and all of the original symptoms may not go away with surgery.
• Menopause symptoms may occur immediately following surgery.
• This procedure is a means of treating endometriosis and small fibroids and is not necessarily an option for treating wide spread disease and cancer.
• Some women experience significant emotional distress from losing the ability to reproduce.
• There may be other options better suited for your particular condition. Laparoscopic subtotal hysterectomy (LHS) is less invasive and has a shorter recovery time. It also reduces scarring.
By reading up on the surgery and discussing what to expect with a doctor, women can resolve some of the mystery and avoid some of the potential surprises associated with partial hysterectomy.