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Questions to Ask About Hysterectomy and Fibroids

If you suffer with fibroids, here are the questions you should ask yourself before deciding on your course of treatment:

  • What are my symptoms?
  • What am I seeking relief from?
  • Are these symptoms tolerable to me?
  • What does the doctor think is causing my condition?
  • What are my preferences and feelings — about having a child, keeping my uterus, premature menopause?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • Are less invasive procedures possible?
  • Will some form of limited treatment help me?
  • Would some kind of medication help?
  • Can I wait to see if the problem clears up on its own?
  • What if I don't do anything?
  • Are there some options the doctor doesn't know about?
  • Where can I get more information about my condition?
  • What are the risks and benefits to me?
  • Will there be pain, and how can it be handled?

If you're considering a hysterectomy, here are the questions you should ask:

  • How long will I be hospitalized?
  • How long is recovery?
  • Will I need help with chores and children for awhile?
  • How will I feel afterwards?
  • Will it impair my sex life? For how long?
  • What will be done exactly?
  • Is it vaginal or abdominal?
  • Which organs will be removed?
  • Will I have a scar?
  • What anesthesia will be used?
  • What are the risks?
  • What will it cost me?

What else you should know about hysterectomy:

While hysterectomy is almost always effective in stopping excessive bleeding and resolving pain or urinary symptoms, there can be complications, including post-operative bleeding and fever.

In addition:

  • Recuperation can take several weeks.
  • You will no longer have periods or be able to get pregnant.
  • You may have menopause-like symptoms.

Types of hysterectomy:

  • Subtotal — Only the uterus is removed. Ovaries, cervix and fallopian tubes remain.
  • Total or "simple." — The uterus and cervix go, but not the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
  • Radical or "bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy." — Everything goes — uterus, cervix, ovaries and tubes.

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