A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman's uterus. Because the uterus is the organ in which a baby grows, a woman cannot become pregnant after she has a hysterectomy. St. Peter's offers patients in the Capital Region state-of-the-art robotic surgical technology with the da Vinci Surgical System. The da Vinci® System enhances surgical capabilities by enabling the performance of complex surgeries, like a hysterectomy, through tiny surgical openings.
If the patient has severe problems, such as endometriosis or cancer, it may be necessary to remove other organs as well. These organs might include the cervix (the lower part of the uterus), ovaries (two glands that release eggs for pregnancy) and fallopian tubes (passageways between the uterus and ovaries).
Most frequently, a hysterectomy is performed to treat problems with the uterus, such as pain and heavy bleeding caused by endometriosis or fibroid tumors. The surgery may also be required if there is cancer in the uterus, cervix and/or ovaries. Also, if there is heavy bleeding during childbirth that cannot be stopped, it might be necessary for the mother to have a hysterectomy in order to save her life.
In many cases, this surgery is a last resort after other treatments options for the problem have been exhausted.
Most women are in the hospital one to two days after this surgery; some patients stay up to four days. Following surgery, a woman must make sure to move around but not do too much. It's good to walk around the house, or even slowly climb up and down stairs. It is important to get plenty of rest following a hysterectomy, especially during the first two weeks. The patient should not lift anything more than 20 pounds even after she is feeling better, and she should not have sex until her doctor advises her that it is okay. Most women usually take four to eight weeks to return to their normal routine.