Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure of removing the uterus from the woman's body. It is known as total hysterectomy when uterus and the cervix, both are removed and it is called partial when only the uterus is removed. It is one of the most commonly performed gynecological surgical procedures in women. This operative method renders the patient unable to bear a child in future and also affects the levels of hormones in the body. Therefore this surgery is advised under specific conditions only.
Hysterectomy may be performed for reasons such as the following:
- Cancer of the uterus, cancer of the cervix or ovaries.
- Uterine fibroids that are causing bleeding or pain.
- Uterine Prolapse in which the uterus drops from its original position into the vaginal canal.
- Chronic pelvic pain.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Adenomyosis which is thickening of the uterus.
This surgery is done under these conditions when other treatments have failed to rectify the above problems. This surgery may be performed after studying the cause and the type of surgery is accordingly decided. It may be required only to remove the uterus in some cases, whereas in other cases it may be required to remove the uterus and the cervix. In a supracervical hysterectomy, only the upper part of the uterus is removed. In total hysterectomy, the whole uterus and cervix is removed and in radical hysterectomy, the whole uterus, cervix, top part of vagina and the tissue on the side of the uterus is removed.
There are different techniques for performing this surgery depending on the cause and the patient's health. The two kinds of technique are the open surgery and the MIP or minimal invasive procedure. In Open surgery an incision is made side to side or up and down across the belly and the uterus is removed. This is an abdominal hysterectomy and is the most common type. In MIP surgery there are many options like vaginal hysterectomy, Laparoscopic hysterectomy, laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy and robot assisted laparoscopy hysterectomy.
In the methods using laparoscopy, a laparoscope is used which is a tube with a lighted camera and is inserted through an incision. MIP hysterectomy is beneficial over the open one because of faster recovery, lesser pain, lesser chances of infection and less scarring. After the minimal invasive procedure, women can get back to their normal routine in 3 to 4 weeks. Also MIP costs lesser than open surgery. The doctor decides the kind of technique which will be applicable to you considering your health and other conditions.
This is not a high risk surgery, it has low risks. Most of the women who have had this procedure do not suffer from any complications. In some cases there may be complications such as vaginal prolapsed, chronic pain, urinary incontinence and fistula formation.
If a woman has had her ovaries removed also, she will experience immediate menopause and if the ovaries have not been removed, she will experience menopause earlier than usual. The doctor may advice the patient to keep away from lifting heavy objects and refrain from lovemaking for about 6 weeks after the procedure. Overall, this surgical procedure has given a lot of women relief from the pain they had been experiencing due to related medical condition.
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