Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure whereby the uterus (womb) is removed. The uterus is the place where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. Sometimes, the ovaries and fallopian tubes are also taken out. Hysterectomies are very common in the USA . The most common reason for the hysterectomy surgery is uterine fibroids.

Depending on the reason for the hysterectomy, a surgeon may choose to remove all or only part of the uterus.

In a supracervial or subtotal hysterectomy, only the upper part of the uterus is removed, keeping the cervix in place.

In total hysterectomy, the whole uterus and cervix is removed.

In a radical hysterectomy, a surgeon removes the whole uterus, tissue on the sides of the uterus, the cervix, and the top part of the vagina. This procedure is generally done when cancer is present. Sometimes, t he ovaries may also be removed.

Different techniques for hysterectomy may be adopted, depending on the surgeon's experience, the reason for the hysterectomy, and a woman's overall health. The hysterectomy technique will partly determine the healing time and the kind of scar, if any that remains after the operation. Following are the various types of hysterectomy:

Open Surgery Hysterectomy: An abdominal hysterectomy is an open surgery. This is the most common approach to hysterectomy, accounting for about 70% of all procedures.

In abdominal hysterectomy, a surgeon makes a 5 to 7 inch incision, either up-and-down or side-to-side, across the belly. The surgeon then removes the uterus through this incision.

On average, a woman spends more than three days in the hospital following an abdominal hysterectomy. There is also a visible scar at the location of the incision after healing.

MIP Hysterectomy: There are several approaches that can be used for an MIP hysterectomy:

Vaginal hysterectomy: The surgeon makes a cut in the vagina and removes the uterus through this incision. The incision is closed, leaving no visible scar.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy: This surgery is done using a laparoscope, which is a tube with a lighted camera, and surgical tools are inserted through several small cuts made in the belly. The surgeon performs the hysterectomy from outside the body, viewing the operation on a video screen.
Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy: Using laparoscopic surgical tools, a surgeon removes the uterus through an incision in the vagina.
Robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy: Similar to a laparoscopic hysterectomy, but the surgeon operates with the assistance of a sophisticated robotic system of surgical tools from outside the body. Advanced technology allows the surgeon to use natural wrist movements and view the hysterectomy on a three-dimensional screen.

After a hysterectomy, if the ovaries were also removed, a woman will enter menopause. If the ovaries were not removed, a woman will likely enter menopause at an earlier age than she would have otherwise.

Most women are told to abstain from sex and avoid lifting heavy objects for six weeks after hysterectomy.

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