Hysterectomy Diagnosis – The Tests Involved Before Hysterectomy Procedure

Hysterectomy diagnosis has several causal factors behind it. Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure where the uterus is removed. There are several types of hysterectomy like total hysterectomy, subtotal hysterectomy and radical hysterectomy. The kind of surgery done will depend on the hysterectomy diagnosis.

Hysterectomy diagnosis

From pelvic exams to ultrasound, hysterectomy diagnosis can be done in many ways.

Hysterectomy Diagnosis: The Causes

The most common cause of hysterectomy is uterine fibroids. The other causes are vaginal bleeding, cervical dysplasia and endometriosis.

The hysterectomy procedure is also recommended in cases of cancer in the reproductive organs. A few details about the various conditions under which hysterectomy is recommended.

Uterine Fibroids:

Uterine fibroids are the main reason for hysterectomies in the US with 150,000 to 1745,000 of them taking place according to statistics released by the National Women’s Health Center, CDC. Uterine fibroids are benign growths that occur in the uterus. They may not turn cancerous, but uterine fibroids can cause several health problems. These include pain and bleeding. In some cases, the uterine fibroids can grow large enough whereby women with this condition may look as though they are in their eighth month of pregnancy. Fibroids are diagnosed by:

(i) A routine pelvic exam by your doctor can lead to the detection of irregular bumps.

(ii) The diagnosis will be confirmed with an ultra-sound test. Your doctor may recommend either a transabdominal or transvaginal ultrasound.

Endometriosis:

Endometriosis is a condition whereby cells that line the uterus begin to grow abnormally and spread even outside it. The condition is extremely painful and can lead to infertility. Women with endometriosis suffer terrible pain during menstruation and even during sexual intercourse. Statistics indicates that more than one million women in the United States suffer from endometriosis. If the condition is extreme, then doctors recommend hysterectomy. Diagnostic steps would involve:

(i) Physical exam for nodules and tenderness in the area.

(ii) Laparoscopy which involves making an incision in the abdomen and inserting a laparoscope inside. Carbon-di-oxide gas is used to expand the abdomen so that a clearer view is obtained. Suspected lesions will be surgically removed and checked under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding:

Abnormal vaginal bleeding is a condition when a woman bleeds even when it is not her menstruation time. It also refers to excessive bleeding during periods. Even too little bleeding during periods comes under the definition of abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Excessive bleeding is linked to both physical and emotional problems. It can also lead to severe blood loss leading to anemia. It could also be a symptom of a growth in the uterus. If the doctor feels that abnormal bleeding could cause serious health issues, he may recommend hysterectomy. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is diagnosed by:

(i) Studying the patient’s medical history.

(ii) Pelvic examination

(iii) Tests for anemia, pregnancy and thyroid. A clotting series test may also be recommended.

(iv) An ultra-sound and a biopsy of the endometrial tissue.

Cervical Dysplasia:

When the cells lining the walls of the cervix display pre-cancerous changes, the condition is known as cervical dysplasia. It is basically an infection that is caused by the Human Papillomavirus. In fact, in a majority of women, the infection resolves itself without any problem. But in some cases, the infection persists and results in pre-cancerous changes in the cells.

Typically, cervical dysplasia does not show any symptoms and is detected through screening tests like the PAP Smear. Depending on tests and prognosis, doctors may recommend hysterectomy.

Cancer:

Cancer of the uterus and ovaries is often the cause of hysterectomy. Diagnostic tests include:

(i) PAP smear test

(ii) Pelvic exam

(iii) Transvaginal ultrasound

(iv) CAT scan

(v) Endometrial biopsy

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID):

Very often sexually transmitted diseases cause chronic inflammation in the pelvic cavity. At times it is asymptomatic. PID can result in severe inflammation in the fallopian tubes and ovaries. PID can also be caused due to abortions and intra-uterine devices.  The tests normally suggested include:

(i) Vaginal secretions culture

(ii)Transvaginal ultrasound or pelvic CT scan

(iii) Pelvic MRI

(iv) Endometrial biopsy

Though hysterectomy has become a very common and safe procedure, it still causes physical and emotional trauma, sometimes due to hysterectomy complications. Therefore, it is often recommended after other treatment options have been explored.


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