What Are the Risks of Hysterectomies?

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A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Although this treatment is effective in removing uterine fibroids and eliminating associated fibroid symptoms, it can carry many additional associated risks as well. Traditional open surgery to remove the uterus requires general anesthesia and at least one surgical incision to access the pelvic cavity. This can result in blood loss, accidental injury to the surrounding organs, scarring, and a risk of infection around the surgical site. Furthermore, this type of treatment requires a significant recovery period (typically two months or more), which can interfere with daily activities or work. Laparoscopic hysterectomy is less invasive, but still requires general anesthesia and several small incisions to complete. Additionally, losing your uterus will have a profound effect on women. Women can struggle psychologically after hysterectomy (like a man being castrated) from losing her womb. Many women struggle sexually after hysterectomy with loss of libido or loss in the ability to orgasm. Hysterectomy increases a woman's risk for osteoporosis which can lead to significant bony fractures. If you are seeking treatment for uterine fibroids, talk to your physician about uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), the non-surgical outpatient option that allows women to keep their uterus.