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Many people fear surgery. Even surgeons who regularly perform hundreds of surgeries have a certain fear of surgeries if one is to be done on them. I mean, who would not be afraid of being cut open? This fear has become unreasonable with all modern technology and know-how.

Why hysterectomy?

You may need your uterus removed for many reasons. Large or multiple fibroids causing heavy troublesome bleeding, presence of endometrial tissue in the myometrium (adenomyosis), and endometrial and cervical cancer are a few important reasons.

Doctors usually recommend removal of the uterus only in the presence of severe symptoms, if the woman is done having children and if other treatment modalities fail.

The final decision is yours. Even when doctors highly recommend hysterectomy, you always have the autonomy to make an informed decision.

Complications of hysterectomy

Bleeding is the most common complication, but unlikely in terms of absolute numbers. You may bleed during the surgery or in the first few days after. During this risk period you are in the hospital and all the facilities to handle such an emergency are readily available.

Damage to adjacent structures is another complication. If you have undergone a few previous surgeries tissues inside your abdomen may have stuck together (adhesion formation). This makes defining the surgical anatomy quite challenging. The bladder is by far the most common structure to get damaged. Tried and true treatment methods will give you excellent prognosis.

Weight loss after hysterectomy?

You technically lose a bit of weight with the very removal of your uterus and its ligaments, which weigh something. Actual weight loss can be estimated by weighing the uterus postoperatively. This form of weight loss is barely significant unless the uterus/fibroid/tumor is very big.

Inflammation is a tissue reaction to injurious agents culminating in the formation of an exudate. Various potent chemicals are involved, chief among which is TNF. TNF causes lipid, glycogen and protein degradation that can amount to a massive weight loss. Cancer patients lose weight mainly due to the effects of TNF.

Anxiety is another important factor. Concerns about healing, pain, and infections can be surprisingly detrimental. It reduces your appetite, increases cortisol levels and makes you lose weight.

Pain itself contributes to weight loss. Pain basically stops you eating. Good pain relief is essential for recovery as well.

Dehydration is a real concern during surgeries. This is why anesthesiologists pump fluid into you during surgery. This excess fluid always goes out as you recover. You might feel like you are losing weight.

What can you do?

Reading up on the procedure that you are about to go through is always good to relieve some of your anxiety. Make sure you read content published by trustworthy sources. Discuss potential risks of the procedure with your surgeon and anesthesiologist.

Having adequate weight for your height is very important because both obese and underweight people tend to have a turbulent recovery period. Unforeseen complications are of course out of your hands. But you can make sure you adhere to the treatment prescribed by your doctors. Good diet, adequate exercise, correct posture and movement, adequate pain relief, correct antibiotics and regular follow-up all add up to an uneventful recovery.

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