Supracervical/Partial Hysterectomy: Procedure & Side Effects


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What is supracervical/partial hysterectomy?

Supracervical or partial hysterectomy is a procedure in which the uterus is removed, while the cervix is kept intact. This procedure can be performed a little faster than total hysterectomy and is also considered to be safer.
It is performed under general anesthesia and can take from 60 minutes to 2 hours to perform, depending on the technique used. 

Different surgical techniques or methods can be used to perform a partial hysterectomy, such as:

Depending on the patient’s condition, the particular city in India in which the surgery is being performed, the facilities available in the hospital, and the method of hysterectomy, the cost of supracervical/partial hysterectomy can range between Rs. 18,000 to Rs. 2,30,000.

Laparoscopic hysterectomies are significantly more costly than abdominal hysterectomy. 


How is supracervical/partial hysterectomy performed?

The following steps are involved in the supracervical/partial hysterectomy procedure:

  1. At the outset, general anesthesia is administered by an anesthetist to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. It is administered through an IV inserted into your vein. Either a mask is strapped on your nose and mouth or a tube is inserted into your throat to enable you to breathe easily. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
  2. The next step involves the surgeon making an incision. The location and type of incision depend on the method or type of hysterectomy being performed i.e.:
  3. The surgeon then detaches the uterus, using thin instruments, from the ligaments that attach it to other pelvic structures and removes it through the incision leaving the cervix intact.
  4. Once the uterus is removed, the surgeon sutures the incision and covers it with a bandage. Bandages soaked with medicines may also be placed on your vaginal area.

Am I eligible for supracervical/partial hysterectomy?

You are eligible for supracervical/partial hysterectomy if you suffer from :

  • Adenomyosis (thickening of the uterus)
  • Large uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Intestinal or bladder blockage
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Childbirth complications such as uncontrollable bleeding

You are not eligible for a supracervical/partial hysterectomy if you suffer from: 

  • Gynecological cancer
  • Precancerous changes of the cervix or uterus
  • Endometrial hyperplasia

Please Note: Eligibility criteria for various medical procedures differs from patient to patient and depends on their general health, medical history, and medical conditions. Please consult a doctor to know more about your eligibility or ineligibility for any medical procedure. 

What risks will I face while undergoing the supracervical/partial hysterectomy procedure?

The risks of undergoing supracervical/partial hysterectomy include:

  • Pain
  • Infections occur in 10 % of the patients
  • Anesthesia-related problems such as rapid breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Hair loss
  • Palpitations
  • Risks are higher in women who are obese or who have diabetes or high blood pressure.

What are the disadvantages of supracervical/partial hysterectomy? 

The disadvantages of supracervical/partial hysterectomy include:

  • This procedure consumes more time compared to other hysterectomy procedure, however, less time than a total hysterectomy.
  • If the doctor performing the surgery is not well experienced, there is a risk of injury such as intestinal injury, urinary tract injury, ureteral injury etc.

What are the complications of supracervical/partial hysterectomy? 

The complications of supracervical/partial hysterectomy include:

  • Injury to nearby organs.
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs.
  • Heavy bleeding may occur in some patients
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Loss of sexual desire (conversely some women experience a drastic improvement in their sex life)
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain
  • Inadvertently created fistula during surgery, which can cause urinary incontinence or urinary leakage
  • Stress urinary incontinence

What are the side effects of undergoing a supracervical/partial hysterectomy?

A few side effects of supracervical/partial hysterectomy are:

  • Occasional spotting or pink discharge for up to about 6 weeks
  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Joint pain

How will I benefit after undergoing a supracervical/partial hysterectomy procedure?

The benefits of undergoing supracervical/partial hysterectomy include:

  • The ovaries and/or cervix are left whole. Due to this women are still able to experience pleasure during sexual interactions. Conversely, with other forms of hysterectomy, women often experience a loss of sexual desire.
  • The pelvic architecture still remains sound after this procedure.

What are the pre-procedure guidelines I should follow for supracervical/partial hysterectomy? 

Preparation for a supracervical/partial hysterectomy typically involves several steps:

  • Physical examination to determine overall health
  • Pelvic exam
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Complete medical history discussion with your surgeon
  • You will be advised to stop smoking, if you smoke, for at least 6 weeks prior to the surgery since smoking can cause problems during the operation, and can also delay the healing process
  • You will be advised to not drink and eat anything at least 12 hours prior to the procedure.
  • Your doctor may prescribe an enema or a laxative to empty your bowels thoroughly before the surgery
  • The doctor may prescribe some medicines prior to the surgery, which can reduce the risk of heavy bleeding during the surgery
  • You need to inform the doctor about any over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements or herbal preparations that you're taking.

What are post-operative guidelines I need to follow after undergoing a supracervical/partial hysterectomy procedure?

Some of the post-operative guidelines following a supracervical/partial hysterectomy are:

  • Overnight stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. You will be monitored for discomfort and given medications to prevent pain and infection.
  • Post the surgery, you should avoid lifting heavy weights or any form of strenuous physical activity for at least upto 6 weeks.
  • You need to avoid tub baths for at least 6 weeks after the surgery.
  • You may have to take a liquid diet temporarily.
  • You will be passing urine through a catheter. It will be removed the day after surgery.
  • Your incision will be covered with either surgical dressing or glue.
  • You may need to use sanitary napkins if vaginal bleeding occurs after a hysterectomy procedure and last for a few weeks.
  • After any surgery, constipation is a common problem due to the number of medicines and inactivity. Eating fruits and vegetables rich in fiber and drinking extra fluids may help you avoid constipation. And if that is not helpful or if the constipation worsens, the doctor may prescribe a stool softener or a laxative.

What is the recovery period after undergoing a supracervical/partial hysterectomy procedure? 

Recovery from supracervical/partial hysterectomy depends on the type of surgical technique being employed: 

Are the results of supracervical/partial hysterectomy permanent? 

There is no definite answer to this question, as the results of the surgery can vary from person to person. Some people may experience complete relief from their symptoms, while others may suffer from side effects. It will be wise to discuss your complete medical history with the doctor, and also get to know the risks involved for you personally, before taking a decision to undergo the procedure. 

How do I know if the supracervical/partial hysterectomy procedure I underwent is a success?

Here again, the results vary from person to person. Ideally, if you are free from the earlier painful and discomforting symptoms, then quite obviously, the procedure has been a success for you. If you experience side effects after the procedure for prolonged periods, then you may need to consult with your doctor once again to understand the situation and opt for further treatments.


More Hysterectomy Related Topics 

People interested in this topic also read: 

Hysterectomy Procedures: Types, Costs, & Risks

Types of Hysterectomy

Methods/Techniques of Hysterectomy 


In the Spotlight - Latest News on Hysterectomy

 Here are some of the latest news on hysterectomy from India and around the world:

References

1. Cooper K, McCormack K, Breeman S et al. HEALTH: laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy versus second-generation endometrial ablation for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. 2018. Available at: https://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-017-2374-9. Accessed February 27, 2018.

2. Ala-Nissilä S, Haarala M, Järvenpää T, Mäkinen J. Long-term follow-up of the outcome of supracervical versus total abdominal hysterectomy. 2018. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00192-016-3143-0. Accessed February 27, 2018.

3. Adegoke O, Hines B, Sandhu K. Vaginal Versus Supracervical Hysterectomies With Concomitant Robotic Sacrocolpopexy. 2018. Available at: https://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2016/05001/Vaginal_Versus_Supracervical_Hysterectomies_With.52.aspx. Accessed February 27, 2018.

4. Rahn D, Marker A, Corton M et al. Does supracervical hysterectomy provide more support to the vaginal apex than total abdominal hysterectomy?. Available at: http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(07)01036-8/abstract Accessed February 27, 2018.

Would you like to consult a doctor for Supracervical/Partial Hysterectomy ?

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
I'm 20 years old , and I'm fed up of my menses.they are painful . i wanna do hysterectomy operation .But don't want to tell my parents about this.They won't allow me but the problem I'm suffering they cannot understand .
Dr. Astha Agarwal
Gynecologist, Ghaziabad
If u r hvng painful menstruation it could be due to endometriosis.
U need to do an ultrasound pelvis first to find the cause.
Also its not certain that hysterectomy will cure your pain.
There are lots of other medication n method that cn b used for pain reduction
Verified User
Its been 20 days of total hysterectomy,but there is a vaginal bleeding even after taking tranexa,is it normal? all the reports are normal, the external as well the internal sutures are fine..what is the reason behind bleeding?
Dr. Neha Goyal
Reproductive Endocrinologist (Infertilty), Ahmedabad
Its mostly infection
Ask your doctor to take swab for culture
Mild bleeding is common due to suture dissolving
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Did you know?

India's rate of hysterectomy is much lower than western countries

More than 22,000 Indian women aged between 15 and 49 out of 700,000 surveyed had undergone a hysterectomy, government data shows.

Reports of unnecessary hysterectomies in India are troubling

Women especially of poor and illiterate backgrounds are conned into surgeries mostly by quacks masquerading as doctors. Women who were seeking treatment for minor ailments were suggested hysterectomies and were also told their uterus is of use once they have babies, which is outrageously wrong and even harmful information.

Hysterectomies are mainly performed in the private sector

Two-thirds of the hysterectomies performed in India were done in the private sector and half of the women who underwent the procedure never went to school.

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