I am very overweight. Can I still have a hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy is often performed in women who are very overweight. If you are having health problems that may require this procedure and you are concerned that your weight will affect the outcome, ask your doctor about possible ways to mitigate any risk.
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus through an incision in the lower abdomen.
Obesity can raise the risk of surgery in general, and studies have shown that it raises the chances of negative effects for hysterectomy patients in particular; the more obese a woman gets, the higher the risk of complications of hysterectomy.
One study (Pitkin, 1976) reported that obese abdominal-hysterectomy patients had wound complications seven times more often than non-obese patients.
But these complications were not likely to be fatal, and the author concluded that obesity should not prevent a patient from getting a hysterectomy if she needs one.
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