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Frequently Asked Questions about Hysterectomy

What are the different types of hysterectomy?

Types of hysterectomy include total hysterectomy, supracervical (or “partial”) hysterectomy, total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and radical hysterectomy. Different types of hysterectomy describe which organs are removed during the procedure.

What does a hysterectomy remove?

What is removed during a hysterectomy depends on the type of hysterectomy performed. A total hysterectomy, the most common type, removes the uterus and cervix. The ovaries are kept intact. A supracervical (or “partial”) hysterectomy removes the uterus but preserves the cervix. A total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy removes the uterus along with the ovaries and fallopian tubes. A radical hysterectomy, less common and usually cancer-related, removes the uterus and cervix as well as tissue around the cervix, the top of the vagina and possibly the pelvic lymph nodes. Regardless of the type of hysterectomy, removing the fallopian tubes should always be part of the procedure since this reduces the ovarian cancer risk by 30%. 

How long does it take to recover from a hysterectomy?

Recovery time from a hysterectomy depends on the surgical technique used to perform your procedure. Full recovery from an open hysterectomy can take eight weeks or more. Because of the advanced surgical method used by CIGC’s laparoscopic specialists, recovery from a hysterectomy usually takes about a week. This is weeks and sometimes months faster compared to other minimally invasive approaches and much faster than recovery from an open hysterectomy.

Patients are able to get back to their routine so quickly because CIGC’s method, DualportGYN, uses just two ¼-inch incisions that avoid the abdominal muscles. Patients go home the same day, have minimal pain and are often up and walking in a day or two.

How long must I wait to have sex after a hysterectomy?

After a hysterectomy, sexual intercourse should be avoided for at least eight weeks as it takes this long to heal internally. During this recovery time, it’s important to wait to have sex and to not insert anything into the vagina, including tampons and douches. This will help prevent injury and infection. Your doctor will advise you on when it’s safe to resume these activities. 

What are common hysterectomy side effects?

The most common hysterectomy side effects are minor incision pain and numbness, vaginal bleeding and bloating. As you recover, you may experience one or more other temporary side effects that should improve every day.

Is it possible to get pregnant after a hysterectomy?

It is rare but possible to get pregnant after a hysterectomy. If at least one ovary was preserved during the procedure, an egg could be released, become fertilized and implant in the fallopian tube, cervix or abdominal cavity. Post-hysterectomy pregnancies, which are highly unlikely to result in a live birth, can be life-threatening and require prompt medical attention.