Mention “hysterectomy” and people get a panicked look on their faces. They have heard all the horror stories about patients who had this surgery paying the price, both figuratively and literally. However, the modern techniques now available for this procedure has limited the complications of both the surgery and recovery.
Laparoscopes Can Be Beneficial
There are many reasons gynecologists recommend a hysterectomy. Medically necessary reasons are when a woman has either cervical or uterine cancer, chronic bleeding caused by childbirth, or severe infection. If the bladder or intestines are blocked by a growth, this is another mandatory reason to have this surgery. Optional reasons include fibroid tumors, pelvic adhesions that are caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, uterine and vaginal prolapse, ovarian cysts, and precancerous cells. Other forms of treatments can be applied to these medical conditions.
Several different types of hysterectomies are performed depending on the condition of the patient. A complete one occurs when the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes are all removed. Only the ovaries remain. The removal of both ovaries, called a bilateral oophorectomy, is often done for ectopic pregnancies, ovarian tumors and cysts, PID, or endometriosis. Patients undergoing a radical hysterectomy experience removing the cervix, uterus, top part of the vagina, and most cervical tissue in the pelvic cavity. Pelvic lymph nodes are also removed and this type is recommended when a patient has cervical or endometrial cancer. Supracervical hysterectomies are performed to remove the uterus, but only part of the cervix because of their low risk of developing cervical cancer.
Varied Methods To Perform A Hysterectomy
Hysterectomies can be performed through different methods. Originally the only method, abdominal hysterectomies resulted in application of a 6-8 inch vertical or horizontal incision. Hospitalization is one week and recovery at home even longer. Vaginal methods require the doctor to remove the uterus through the vagina leading to discomfort during sexual intercourse. If a patient is recognized as a great candidate to have a laparoscopic hysterectomy, there are other factors to consider.
When using a laparoscope, doctors can remove pelvic adhesions easier. Since there are no stitches, due to the long scope going in through the vagina, recovery time is much quicker than abdominal and vaginal hysterectomies. Advanced technology offers robot-assisted laparoscopes that a surgeon controls from outside the body. The downside is they are costly and may cause your insurer to deny coverage. The benefits of laparoscopic hysterectomy include shorter hospital stays, faster recuperation times of 3-4 weeks, less scarring, and lowered risks of internal hernias. If a woman had previous surgeries, is obese, or has other pre-existing conditions, she may not be a good candidate for this procedure. Ultimately, a frank discussion with your doctor can aid you in making the right decision. And before any surgery, make sure you have researched the best term life insurance rates.