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Total vs. Partial Hysterectomy

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Woman weighing her options between a total and partial HysterectomyThe more I read and soul search, and the more I talk things over with my husband, I am thinking I don’t want to lose my cervix. I am leaning towards asking my doctor about taking my tubes and uterus, and leaving my ovaries and cervix. But I want minimally invasive surgery, and I’m pretty sure my doctor is going to push for a total hysterectomy. How do I decide between a partial and total hysterectomy?

First, the cervix is not a separate organ. It is the neck of the uterus. So depending on your diagnosis, it may not be possible to keep the cervix. For instance, if your uterus is prolapsing, the cervix is what is making its exit from the body! If you have adenomyosis, endometriosis, cancer concerns, or fibroids, the cervix could be affected pre- and post-hysterectomy.

If you choose da Vinci or other minimally invasive surgery, you would need to check with your doctor about the possibility of keeping your cervix. If he or she delivers the uterus vaginally, keeping the cervix won't be an option. Find out the specific technique your doctor uses and also get a second opinion.

If you do opt to keep your cervix, it can be removed later if it is an issue. That procedure is called a trachelectomy. If your doctor indicates that he or she believes the cervix will have to go, though, it’s better to just get it done all at once and have one recovery.

Keeping or removing the cervix can be a very personal decision. There are doctors and patients who are adamant about each choice, each with information to back up their opinion. Be sure to get a second, and maybe even a third opinion, before you decide. A hysterectomy is a major surgery and a life-changing procedure. You will definitely want to be comfortable that you have made the right choice for you—one that best serves your particular medical needs.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

09-29-2011 - 02:00 PM


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