Friday, 14 July 2006 00:00

Health Tip: Understanding Hysterectomy

(HealthDay News) -- Hysterectomies are performed on women with uterine fibroids, extremely heavy bleeding, endometriosis, uterine cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease or other conditions that affect the female reproductive system. The procedures can either be performed abdominally or vaginally.

According to Epigee Women's Health, one of several types of hysterectomies may be performed, depending on a woman's symptoms. A complete hysterectomy involves removal of both the cervix and uterus, while a partial hysterectomy removes only part of the uterus and leaves the cervix intact. A radical hysterectomy removes the entire uterus and cervix, as well as the top section of the vagina and pelvic lymph nodes.

Vaginal hysterectomies typically have a shorter recovery period than abdominal procedures. Most women are discharged from the hospital after about four days. Full recovery takes about eight weeks, and most women spend the first two to three weeks resting with only light activity, Epigee says.