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What Types of Surgery May Be Recommended for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?

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Updated April 02, 2008

Question: What Types of Surgery May Be Recommended for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding?
Answer: Before deciding to have surgery for abnormal uterine bleeding, make sure you've tried the medical treatments which are available. Surgical treatments for abnormal uterine bleeding should not be used by women who still want to become pregnant. Surgical treatments for abnormal uterine bleeding include:

  • Hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus and cervix. It's important to explore your options before you decide that hysterectomy is the right choice for you.

Also, you and your physician should consider the various types of hysterectomy. There are several methods of hysterectomy:

  • Open hysterectomy, or laparotomy, which is the traditional method. This type of hysterectomy requires a six-week recovery period.
  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy which is done through a small incision and requires a much shorter recovery period than the traditional hysterectomy.
  • Vaginal hysterectomy which is a hysterectomy that is done through the vagina without any abdominal cutting.

The type of hysterectomy your surgeon performs depends on your personal medical circumstances. Under certain conditions, you can opt to keep your cervix, which is the lower third portion of the uterus, and have a supracervical hysterectomy. A total hysterectomy is one that includes the removal of the cervix with the uterus. You should also discuss with your physician whether your fallopian tubes and ovaries will also be removed. This type of hysterectomy is called hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

  • Endometrial ablation is a choice for women experiencing excessive uterine bleeding, who no longer desire pregnancy. This is a surgical procedure performed on an outpatient basis. Endometrial ablation is an effective treatment for excessive uterine bleeding that works by destroying the endometrium or uterine lining. The results of endometrial ablation may permanently end uterine bleeding or menstruation, however, this is not guaranteed and excessive uterine bleeding may recur.

    Sources:

    (ACOG), American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. "Management of anovulatory bleeding." Practice Bulletin.14 (2000): 9. Accessed 07/05/07

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