Hysterectomy is removal of the uterus, which is the organ at the top of the birth canal. Dr. Pizarro performs this procedure to treat patients with problems of the uterus for which other therapies have not worked, are less effective, or are less desired by the patient.

Indications for hysterectomy include heavy periods, pelvic prolapse, and cervical precancer (dysplasia). Hysterectomy can be performed either by removing the uterus through a single large incision on the abdomen, by using several much smaller incisions (laparoscopy), or by delivering the uterus entirely from below without any skin incisions (vaginal hysterectomy). Most hysterectomies for women without cancer can be performed either vaginally or with very small incisons. These surgeries are less painful and allow quicker recovery than if a single larger incision is needed.

Since 2005, Dr. Pizarro has offered hysterectomy using advanced computerized laparoscopy (robotics). This technique makes it much easier to perform surgeries through small incisions that in the past would have required a very large incision. There are many alternatives to hysterectomy and robotic surgery, so women must choose the treatment they feel is best for them.

Research has shown that most women who undergo hysterectomy are very satisfied with the result. When a woman is well informed about her condition and the surgery itself, she is likely to have a positive experience. Patients should be active in the decision-making process leading to hysterectomy.

Hysterectomy can involve removing the entire uterus (total hysterectomy) with or without removal of one or more the ovary, depending on the patient's age and needs. Evidence is growing that removing the fallopian tubes at the time of hysterectomy will help decrease the future risk of ovarian cancer. Dr. Pizarro recommends that each woman have her treatment individualized to meet her special needs. The risks of hysterectomy or any other major surgery include death, infection, injury to organs and other unexpected events or treatments. The rate of complications is low and specific measures to prevent complications are employed. There are alternatives to hysterectomy in many cases. It is important for women to know the risks and benefits of hysterectomy if you have a problem that requires surgery.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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