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Vaginal Hysterectomy

About vaginal hysterectomy
About vaginal hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the uterus. There are several different types of hysterectomies.

A vaginal hysterectomy is a procedure in which the surgeon removes an affected or deceased uterus through the vagina. The other way to perform a hysterectomy is through an abdominal incision. 

Vaginal hysterectomy is performed for the treatment of a range of conditions affecting the uterus.

Why is a vaginal hysterectomy indicated?
Why is a vaginal hysterectomy indicated?

Vaginal hysterectomy is done as a long-term solution for various gynecological problems. Common conditions that can be treated with vaginal hysterectomy are:

1) Uterine fibroids – Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterus causing menstrual problems and pelvic pain. This condition usually affects a person during her reproductive years. These benign tumours can be treated with hysterectomy.

2) Endometriosis – Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the tissues lining the uterus begins to develop outside the uterus. These tissues can also develop on the ovaries or the intestines. Endometriosis can cause menstrual irregularities and fertility issues. Vaginal hysterectomy is an effective treatment for endometriosis. 

3) Adenomyosis – Adenomyosis is a condition in which the endometrial tissues begin to develop within the muscular wall of the uterus. This condition can lead to menstrual disorders, severe cramping, pain during intercourse and blood clotting. The enlarged and painful uterus can be treated with a vaginal hysterectomy. 

4) Gynaecological cancer – Gynaecological cancers are the cancers that develop in any of the female reproductive organs including the vagina, vulva, cervix, ovaries and uterus. For a range of these cancers, vaginal hysterectomy can be a possible solution. 

5) Uterine prolapse – Uterine prolapse occurs when the tissues and ligaments supporting the pelvis become weak causing the uterus to prolapse or fall into the vagina. This can cause urine leakage, pelvic pressure or difficulty with bowel movements. Uterine prolapse can be effectively treated through vaginal hysterectomy. 

6) Abnormal uterine bleeding – When medication and lifestyle modifications deem ineffective for the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding, hysterectomy is considered. 

7) Chronic pelvic pain – There are several underlying conditions or factors that can lead to chronic pain in the pelvis. This can be treated with a vaginal hysterectomy.

What are the risks of a vaginal hysterectomy?
What are the risks of a vaginal hysterectomy?

Vaginal hysterectomy is a safe procedure. However, as with any other surgery, this procedure also has certain risks and complications associated with it.

Common risks of vaginal hysterectomy include:

How do you prepare for vaginal hysterectomy?
How do you prepare for vaginal hysterectomy?

Your gynaecological surgeon will determine if you are eligible for a vaginal hysterectomy or not. He/she will gather information on your overall health, age, present symptoms, and if you are taking any medication.

Your doctor will also discuss with you the risks of vaginal hysterectomy. A hysterectomy means that you will not be able to bear children –  your doctor will thoroughly discuss this aspect considering your fertility goals.

If you are eligible for a vaginal hysterectomy, your doctor will counsel you and prepare you for the surgery. He/she will begin by analysing and examining your overall health by doing a general health check as well as a gynaecological health checkup.

How is a vaginal hysterectomy done?
How is a vaginal hysterectomy done?

This procedure is done under the effects of anaesthesia. A member of the surgical team will clean your surgical area before proceeding. The surgeon then begins to make an incision inside your vagina through which he/she will access the uterus.

Using surgical instruments, the surgeon clamps the uterine blood vessels and detaches your uterus from the connective tissue, ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Then he/she removes the uterus through the vaginal opening and makes absorbable stitches to control any bleeding. A vaginal hysterectomy can be done in a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) manner.

What happens after a vaginal hysterectomy?
What happens after a vaginal hysterectomy?

After the surgery, your surgical team will closely monitor your health. Your surgeon will instruct you on how to take care of the surgical site and ways to clean it. You will also be guided on your medication.

You can expect to experience some bloody vaginal discharge. You will likely have a painless and shorter recovery. You can expect to recover fully in 3-4 weeks.

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