Mercy's Dr. Latasha Murphy Discusses "Your Body After Hysterectomy"
Hysterectomy, the removal of a woman's uterus, is a fairly common procedure. It is the most commonly performed gynecological surgery. But even so, it can still be unsettling to patients who may have questions about what to expect.
According to gynecologist Dr. Latasha Murphy of the Institute for Gynecologic Care at Mercy, patients undergoing a hysterectomy have many questions. Some women ask whether they will have a scar. Dr. Murphy said that depends.
"There are a variety of different ways to do a hysterectomy. There is the abdominal hysterectomy where, yes, you do have a scar, but with a C-section-type scar on the lower abdomen. Or there is a vaginal hysterectomy, where you never see the scar because it's inside the vagina. And then you have the laparoscopic, or minimally invasive approaches, where you may have three or four incisions after hysterectomy," she said.
Is it painful? In some cases, though the vaginal and minimally invasive procedures offer an easier recovery.
Is it risky? No, but there is the unlikely possibility of damage to surrounding organs.
Will a hysterectomy bring on menopause? No.
"The uterus does not produce any hormones. So if you are just removing the uterus, they should not go through menopausal symptoms. They have the added benefit of not having a cycle without having to go through the menopausal hot flashes, but if we take the ovaries out at the same time as the uterus, then people can experience hot flashes and menopausal symptoms," Dr. Murphy said.
Finally, will the surgery affect intimacy?
"A lot of patients say that their sex life is improved afterwards. If you look at the different reasons for having hysterectomies, a lot of time, it's pelvic pain and bleeding, and they no longer have to worry about that once you take out the source of their pain and bleeding," Dr. Murphy said.
View Dr. Latasha Murphy’s interview regarding body changes after hysterectomy.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.