Can a Hysterectomy Make You Look 10 Years Younger?

by Lauren Streicher, MD

Have you ever known someone that took time off from work to recover from a hysterectomy and returned looking younger and really well rested? She of course said that getting rid of her bleeding fibroids did her a world of good. The truth is, she may have taken advantage of the downtime from her surgery to have a few other things taken care of. Like her face, breasts and protruding belly. For many women, a medically indicated operation is the ideal time to sneak in some bonus surgery.

Very few women are thrilled about having a hysterectomy. Even when they know that it is medically the right thing to do, it’s often difficult psychologically. Having a hysterectomy, more than any other type of surgery, stirs up all kinds of troublesome emotions … getting older, end of potential fertility, and for some, the beginning of menopause. Planning a cosmetic procedure that you’ve always secretly wanted is a way to turn things around. You may be losing your uterus, but at least you’re gaining a flat stomach and perky breasts.

I am frequently asked, half-jokingly, to do a tummy tuck "while I am there." Most women are surprised to hear me reply, “You don’t want me doing your tummy tuck, but I can get a plastic surgeon involved.”

If it’s something you have always wanted to do, there are actually a number of advantages to having a plastic procedure at the same time as a necessary surgery.

Cut the Cost!

By the time you add the price of the surgeon, anesthesia, operating room, recovery room, drugs and hospital stay, it’s no surprise that it’s usually only the rich and famous who can afford those little nips and tucks. But, if a plastic procedure is done at the same time as a hysterectomy, it means that the only out of pocket cost may be the surgeon’s fee and possibly the expense of additional operating room time.

Paying for cosmetic surgery is only part of the financial obstacle for women who cannot justify or afford to take time off work. But, if you are already taking time off to recover from a hysterectomy, there’s no additional lost revenue.

No One Has to Know….

It’s easy to keep your tummy tuck a secret when you’re recovering from major abdominal surgery. A facelift is a little harder to hide, so your best bet is to tell potential visitors to stay away for at least a week. If some well-meaning do-gooder does show up with a turkey noodle casserole, be prepared to give a creative reason to explain why you need to wear sunglasses and a big-brimmed hat with your pajamas.

There’s Always a Down Side

Before you schedule your facelift, tummy tuck, liposuction, breast augmentation, and oh, by the way, hysterectomy, there are some negatives to consider.

Cosmetic surgery is still surgery, and every operation has the potential for complications. By adding an additional procedure, you are also adding the potential for additional problems.

Also, it’s going to hurt more. An outpatient laparoscopic hysterectomy usually results in minimal pain. Adding a tummy tuck adds a large abdominal incision along with post-op belly pain and tightness that makes it pretty difficult to stand up straight for a few days. But, that’s simply the price you pay for a belly you can bounce a quarter off of.


11/10 2010