Risks and Complications
Just like any other surgery, hysterectomy surgery also has its own complications and risks. Though this is a very safe procedure, yet it is always good to be aware of the complications it involves so that it becomes easy to rectify them while there is still time. The greatest disadvantage of this method is that it completely cuts out the possibility of a woman becoming a mother again, only if both the ovaries are removed. Being an irreversible process, it not only affects a woman of child bearing age physically but also mentally, thereby making early menopause an effect of it. It is not surprising then, that a lot of deliberation goes into this decision before performing the surgery.
Blood clotting is one of the risks involved in this kind of surgery. If the patient lies on the bed for prolonged duration post surgery, the chances of blood clotting are higher. This clotting usually starts in the leg, which can cause the leg to swell and hurt. If neglected, this clot may go up to the lungs causing shortage of breath, chest pain which may finally even lead to death. Hence, the doctor prescribes movement of the patient at the earliest after the surgery.
Like most surgeries, hysterectomy is also associated with bleeding (during and post surgery), infection (superficial or skin deep) and a skin scar. There are however some complications that are solely related to this surgery, which are rare but prevalent. At times, organs in the pelvic or abdominal region may be injured, especially if scars from previous surgeries are still present. Endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory diseases may also be the reason of the scars. Injury can also be done to the urinary bladder or the tubes that connect the bladder and the kidney. This kind of injury calls for another operation which may in turn result in the loss of a kidney. Similarly, blood vessels, the intestines or pelvic veins may also be injured, causing additional surgeries. The injured veins of the pelvis may, as a result, cause intimate relations dysfunction due to the reduced sensation.
Hernias may be caused as an after effect of abdominal hysterectomy. Along with this, two more conditions known as cysto-vaginal and recto-vaginal fistulae may be caused. These are an abnormal connection of the bladder with the vagina and the rectum with the vagina respectively. This causes leakage of urine and stool from the vagina; hence this will again require another surgery.
Alternatives to Hysterectomy
Since this surgery is an extreme option, doctors always try many other methods which may relieve the particular discomfort a patient is suffering from. Therefore, procedures like uterine artery embolisation (UAE), myomectomy – removal of a portion of the uterus surgically, and endometrial ablation techniques are some of the new methods that the doctors try out before deciding to perform hysterectomy.
All in all, hysterectomy is a safe and reliable surgery that relieves the discomfort in the female reproductive organs, but like all other surgeries, it too has its own advantages and disadvantages.