The term ‘hysterectomy’ refers to the surgical removal of the uterus.
A hysterectomy can be advised to patients as the most appropriate treatment for conditions other than cervical cancer. A hysterectomy can be either simple or radical (sometimes called a Wertheim operation). In both cases the whole of the uterus and cervix are removed but in a radical hysterectomy the tissue at the side of the uterus, (the parametrium, and the top part of the vagina are also removed. Whether a simple or radical hysterectomy is recommended will depend on several factors including the stage and type of the tumour.
Side effects / complications after hysterectomy Some women may experience some complications after surgery and your specialist nurse or consultant will explain these complications to you.
Some women may have bladder or bowel problems after a hysterectomy because of damage to these organs (or the nerves that control them) during the surgery. This is more common after a radical operation rather than a simple hysterectomy.
If the lymph nodes have been removed, there is a risk of developing swelling (lymphoedema) in one or both legs. This is a build up of lymph fluid that cannot drain away normally because the glands have been removed. It is more likely to happen if you have had radiotherapy to the pelvic area as well as surgery.
If you develop any symptoms after your surgery, you must inform your specialist nurse or consultant as it is often possible to treat or manage them.
You may also find that after surgery, your sex life is affected. This may be as a result of the physical effects of surgery or emotional aspects of dealing with diagnosis of cancer.
If you have had your ovaries removed during the hysterectomy, you will experience early sudden menopause which produces its own symptoms, which some can find a little distressing. Do discuss this with either your GP or your nurse specialist as they can suggest options such as HRT.
"Hysterectomy." Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.