Hysterectomy or uterus removal surgery
Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure which means removal of uterus. A woman may be advised Hysterectomy for multiple reasons like uterine fibroid, uterine cancer, prolapse of the uterus, chronic pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, adenomyosis, dysfunctional uterine bleeding and so on. With the exception of cancer, hysterectomy is usually not recommended unless all other treatment methods have failed. In some cases, the gynaecologist may advice removal of fallopian tubes and ovaries simultaneously with the uterus. This is called as Hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy. Depending upon the diagnosis, the gynaecologist might decide to remove the whole of the uterus or some part of it only. Your uterus might be removed from the upper part only, keeping the cervix intact, this is a partial hysterectomy or subtotal hysterectomy. In a total hysterectomy, the uterus is removed along with the cervix. A radical hysterectomy will include removal of the uterus with cervix, and some surrounding tissues, this approach is taken in case of uterine or cervical cancer.
Depending upon the type of hysterectomy to be done and the diagnosis, different approaches for the surgery may be followed, the time for healing and scar formation might vary accordingly. In an abdominal hysterectomy or an open hysterectomy, the surgeon will make a 5 to 7-inch incision along the uterine region and remove the uterus. This will eventually lead to a scar formation and will require a two to three days of post-operative hospitalization for healing.
A minimally invasive hysterectomy can be done in different manners, for example in a vaginal hysterectomy, an incision will be made in the vagina and the uterus will be removed through that. This will not leave any scar at the site.
A laparoscopic hysterectomy is done with an incision through the abdomen and removing the uterus through those incisions. Assisted vaginal hysterectomy is performed where a laparoscope is inserted through minor incisions on the abdomen, but the uterus is removed through the vagina eventually. In a robotic hysterectomy, on the other hand, a robot is used to perform the procedure and assist the surgeon.
As the name of the procedure suggests, a minimally invasive surgery has very minor incisions and have a lesser duration of hospital stay, lesser chances of infection and scarring when compared to an open abdominal surgery. In a minimally invasive procedure, a female might resume her normal daily activities within 1-2 weeks whereas, a female who has undergone an open or abdominal hysterectomy will take about 4 to 6 weeks for healing and resuming back to her normal life.
Although, minimally invasive procedure has lot of benefits over open surgery, it is not advisable for everyone to undergo the same. Pre-existing health conditions, previous abdominal surgical scars and other associated health issues may lead to deferring of a woman for a minimally invasive procedure.
Usually females who have had a hysterectomy do not develop any serious complications of surgery, however, no surgery is completely safe and does carry some risk factors. Some of those risk factors are vaginal prolapse, urinary incontinence, surgical site infection, and prolonged pain.
Females who have undergone removal of ovaries along with the uterus, they enter Menopause directly post surgery. For those who have not had their ovaries removed are likely to enter Menopause relatively sooner than the ones with an active uterus.
Women are advised to abstain from intercourse and lifting heavy weight post surgery. Women who have had their ovaries removed along with the uterus might be put on hormone replacement therapy in order to combat the drastic changes that the body might be undergoing as a result of the Menopause setting in suddenly. On the positive side, there will be substantial relief from the condition that the patient was suffering from prior to the surgery which ultimately lead to it, like heavy bleeding, bloating, chronic pain etc.