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What Is a Supracervical Hysterectomy?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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A supracervical hysterectomy is a type of surgical procedure in which a portion of the uterus is removed while leaving the cervix intact. This is considered by many to be the least painful type of hysterectomy, although it is not appropriate for every woman who needs a hysterectomy. Those who have a history of abnormal pap smears or cervical cancer may not be candidates for a supracervical hysterectomy. In many cases, pain medications are not needed following this procedure, and recovery time is almost immediate for many women.

When considering a supracervical hysterectomy, the patient should discuss her future risks of developing cancer as a result of leaving the cervix intact. Diagnostic testing is often required before a doctor will consider this type of hysterectomy. Any questions or concerns about the potential benefits and risks of this operation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Laparoscopic surgery is typically used when performing a supracervical hysterectomy. This means that, instead of making one large incision, the surgeon makes several small incisions. Small instruments are then inserted into these incisions, eliminating the necessity for the surgeon to insert his hands into the abdomen. This greatly reduces the risk of complications such as bleeding and infection as well as significantly speeding up the rate of recovery.

In the majority of cases, a supracervical hysterectomy is performed as an outpatient procedure. This means that the patient is able to go home the same day the surgery is performed. Depending on the preferences of the surgeon or the development of mild complications, an overnight stay in the hospital may be required.

Many women who have a supracervical hysterectomy do not need any kind of pain medication following the surgery. Those who do experience pain or discomfort often find that over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen provide sufficient relief. If stronger pain medications are required, the patient can ask the doctor to prescribe something stronger.

Before leaving the hospital following surgery, the medical team will provide the patient with instructions on post-operative care. These instructions will include tips on proper incision care as well as when sexual activity can safely be resumed. These instructions will also include any restrictions on lifting or other physical activity, and a follow-up appointment will be scheduled. Any redness or discharge relating to the incision sites should be reported to a doctor right away for further evaluation.

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