Hysterectomy Procedure and Surgery – An In-Depth Overview

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
There are other conditions that might also require a hysterectomy, like abnormal vaginal bleeding. All these above conditions might have alternative treatments. If these treatments fail, hysterectomy might be considered as the only option available during a hysterectomy diagnosis.
hysterectomy procedure
Hysterectomy procedure and surgery types

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 Hysterectomy:

Total removal of the uterus and the cervix.

Radical Hysterectomy:

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):
Vaginal Hysterectomy:

A cut is made in the vagina, and the uterus is extracted through this. The cut is then closed with stitches.

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy:

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.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery:

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.

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