How often should you have a Pap smear after a hysterectomy?
Most women have their uterus entirely removed during a hysterectomy,
and since they don’t have a cervix afterward, they don’t need Pap tests. Women who
have a partial hysterectomy, which preserves the cervix, definitely need Pap smears.
However, if you do need Pap smears, you may not need to get them every year
ACOG’s recommendation is that if you’ve had an abnormal Pap smear, you should have
a Pap smear at least every other year for 20 years, following an abnormal Pap
smear or after your hysterectomy.
How dangerous is a hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is generally very safe, but with any major surgery comes the risk
of complications. Risks associated with an abdominal hysterectomy include: Blood
What are the complications
There’s a small risk of complications, including:
* heavy bleeding
* damage to your bladder or bowel
* a serious reaction to the general anaesthetic
* ureter damage
* bladder or bowel damage
* blood clots
* vaginal problems
* ovary failure
* early menopause
What should you do before the procedure?
Before surgery, you may have tests done to check for cancer, which could change your surgeon’s approach to surgery. Tests may include:
* Cervical cytology (Pap test), which detects the presence of abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer
* Endometrial biopsy, which detects abnormal cells in the uterine lining or endometrial cancer
* Pelvic ultrasound, which may show the size of uterine fibroids, endometrial polyps or ovarian cysts The day before and morning of your surgery, you will be instructed to shower using soap to reduce your risk of infection. A preoperative cleansing of your vagina (vaginal douche) or preoperative cleansing of your rectum (enema) also may be done.
Immediately before surgery, you’ll receive an intravenous antibiotic medication to minimize your risk of infection after the procedure.