Hysterectomy procedure involves the surgical removal of the uterus. There might be several reasons for this.
When is a Hysterectomy Procedure Necessary?
The following conditions might require the removal of the uterus:
- Cancer of the cervix, uterus, ovaries or endometrium
- Uterine Fibroids
- Abnormal growth of the tissue lining the walls of the uterus
- Uterine Prolapse
- Severe and chronic pelvic pain
Hysterectomy Surgery – The Different Types
There are different types of hysterectomy surgeries. These are:
Partial or Supracervical Hysterectomy:
In this procedure just the top part of the uterus is removed. The cervix is not removed.
Total removal of the uterus and the cervix.
Mostly done as a treatment for cancer in the region of the uterus. The whole uterus is removed in addition to the tissues covering the cervix on both sides. This procedure also involves a partial removal of the vagina – the upper part.
The Hysterectomy Procedure
The doctor can perform a hysterectomy surgery in many different ways. Mainly, there are two different methods of performing a hysterectomy procedure:
The Traditional Way or the Open Surgery Method:
Total Abdominal Hysterectomy:
This is the most common hysterectomy procedure. The surgeon makes a five to seven inch incision either side to side or up and down across the abdomen. The uterus is removed through this incision.
Minimally Invasive Procedures (MIP):
A cut is made in the vagina, and the uterus is extracted through this. The cut is then closed with stitches.
The laparoscope – a small instrument with a lighted tube and a tiny camera – lets the surgeon see the internal organs while performing an operation. Three to four small cuts are made to insert the laparoscope and surgical instruments. The surgeon cuts the uterus into small pieces, viewing the procedure on a screen. The pieces are then removed through the incisions.
Laparoscope Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH):
The uterus is removed through an incision in the vagina, assisted by laparoscopic surgical instruments.
This is similar to laparoscopic hysterectomy. However, the surgeon uses sophisticated robotic surgical instruments to perform the operation, viewing the entire procedure on a 3-d screen.
MIP Hysterectomy offers several advantages like smaller incisions, precise control and faster recovery. But MIP Hysterectomy might not be a good option in all cases. Certain conditions like obesity, the presence of old surgical scar tissues and some other health concerns might rule out MIP as an option.
Hysterectomy is one of the most common of major surgical procedures. About thirty percent of women in the US alone undergo a hysterectomy before they reach 60. This is a low risk surgery and hysterectomy complications are rare.