Radical Hysterectomy: All You Need to Know About the Procedure, Side Effects & Costs

In India, cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women. According to a study published by Annals of Global Health, about one-fourth of cervical cancer deaths in the world occur in India. Fortunately, cervical cancer can be treated at an early stage and radical hysterectomy is one of the ways to do it. Let’s know everything about radical hysterectomy, its costs and its side effects.

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    What is Radical Hysterectomy?

    Radical hysterectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the uterus, cervix, upper vagina, pelvic lymph nodes and the surrounding tissues from the body. It is an extensive procedure, which is conducted to treat cervical cancers in cases where chemotherapy or radiotherapy have not worked or cannot be used.

    A radical hysterectomy can be performed with the help of surgical techniques, such as vaginal hysterectomy, abdominal hysterectomy and laparoscope-assisted vaginal hysterectomy. In some cases, the surgery may involve the removal of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes, which is not essentially a part of radical hysterectomy.

    Who is Eligible for a Radical Hysterectomy?

    The following people are eligible for a radical hysterectomy:

    • The cancerous tumour in the uterus.
    • Large fibroid
    • Chronic uterine infection
    • Endometriosis
    • Severe pain associated with menopause
    • Uterine prolapse
    • Menorrhagia or Chronic and excessive bleeding
    • Adenomyosis or thickening of the uterus

    However, radical hysterectomy poses greater risks to women suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

    Side Effects of Radical Hysterectomy

    Here are some of the side effects of getting a radical hysterectomy done:

    • Pink discharge or occasional spotting for up to six weeks
    • Weakening of pelvic muscles and ligaments
    • Early menopause (in case of the removal of ovaries)
    • Joint pain
    • Insomnia
    • Hot flashes

    Cost of Radical Hysterectomy in India

    Generally, the average cost of radical hysterectomy in India ranges from Rs 25,000 to Rs 3.8 lakh. However, the exact cost of radical hysterectomy will depend on several factors, including the patient’s condition, method of hysterectomy and the city & hospital where the surgery is to be performed.

    For example, a laparoscopic hysterectomy is more expensive than an abdominal hysterectomy. Similarly, radical hysterectomy performed in Delhi will be costlier than the one conducted in Patna.

    Is Radical Hysterectomy Covered by Health Insurance in India?

    Yes. Radical hysterectomy is covered by health insurance plans in India. All health plans offering coverage for surgical procedures cover the cost of radical hysterectomy. These mostly include health insurance for surgery plans. Moreover, some women health insurance plans that provide coverage for surgical procedures also pay for the expenses incurred on a radical hysterectomy.

    The good thing is that health insurance plans in India provide coverage for radical hysterectomy for both malignant and benign conditions. However, the coverage will be available only if the diagnosis for the medical condition requiring radical hysterectomy has been confirmed by a qualified medical specialist.

    Health Insurance Coverage for Radical Hysterectomy

    Health insurance coverage for radical hysterectomy is not available up to the sum insured limits. Instead, the cost of radical hysterectomy is covered up to the limit specified in the policy document. While some plans cover the cost of radical hysterectomy for up to 25% of the sum insured, others provide coverage for up to 10% of the sum insured limit.

    Moreover, some plans may also specify the maximum amount payable to cover the cost of this surgery. For instance, a plan may cover radical hysterectomy costs for up to 25% of the sum insured subject to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh.

    Waiting Period to Cover Radical Hysterectomy Under Health Insurance

    Radical hysterectomy is not covered by health insurance plans from day 1 of the policy. Instead, the coverage is subject to a waiting period, post which the insurance company will cover the surgery cost.

    Usually, radical hysterectomy is covered under health insurance after a waiting period of 180 days to 2 years for benign conditions. However, some plans may cover this surgery cost for malignant conditions after a waiting period of 90 days only.

    However, if you have been diagnosed with a health condition requiring radical hysterectomy before buying a health insurance policy, it will be considered as a pre-existing medical condition. In that case, pre-existing diseases waiting period will apply. Generally, pre-existing diseases are covered under health insurance after a waiting period of 2 to 4 years.

    In a Nutshell

    Radical hysterectomy is an important surgical procedure often performed to treat cervical cancer. Since it is an expensive surgery, having a health insurance plan can be a blessing. However, make sure to check the severity of the condition covered and the applicable waiting period before buying a health insurance plan for radical hysterectomy.

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