What Is a Hysterectomy and Why Is It Performed?

What Is a Hysterectomy and Why Is It Performed?

A hysterectomy surgery is an operation to remove the uterus. This hysterectomy surgery may be done for different reasons which include uterine fibroids that cause pain, bleeding, or other problems. Also, Uterine prolapse which is a sliding of the uterus from its normal position into the vaginal canal Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries Endometriosis Abnormal vaginal bleeding Chronic pelvic pain Adenomyosis, or a thickening of the uterus.

What to Expect

There are several different surgical methods in hysterectomy. The type of hysterectomy performed and the technique used to perform the procedure will be determined by your physician or doctors. Also, it depends on the size of the uterus as well as several other factors.

Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy:

Laparoscopic hysterectomy is a method in which the uterus is removed through very small incisions on the lower abdomen. The surgeon inserts a thin, flexible tube called laparoscope, containing a video camera, through a cut in the belly button, and several other small incisions are made in the abdomen to place surgical tools. With the help of the laparoscope tube the uterus is then removed in sections through the vagina. Due to that small scars remain on the skin of the abdomen.

After the surgery, most women stay 0-1 nights in the hospital, followed by 4-6 weeks reduced activity.

Vaginal Hysterectomy:

In this method the uterus is removed through the vaginal opening. This procedure is most often used in cases of uterine prolapse, or when vaginal repairs are necessary for relevant conditions. No external incision is made in this procedure, that means there is no visible scarring. Of all hysterectomy procedures this involves the least postoperative pain.

After the surgery, most women stay 0-1 nights in the hospital, followed by 4-6 weeks reduced activity.

Total Abdominal Hysterectomy:

In this method the uterus is removed through the abdomen via a surgical incision and it is about six to eight inches long. This Total Abdominal Hysterectomy method is most commonly used when the ovaries and fallopian tubes are being removed, when the uterus is enlarged, for women with large fibroids, or when disease has spread to the pelvic cavity, as in endometriosis or cancer. In this Total Abdominal Hysterectomy the main surgical incision can be made either vertically, from the navel down to the pubic bone, or horizontally, along the top of the pubic hairline.

If the uterus is very large or if there is a scar from an earlier operation, it might be necessary to make a vertical incision on the lower abdomen.

After the surgery, most women stay 2-3 nights in the hospital, followed by 4-6 weeks reduced activity.

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