Hysterectomy is a surgery to remove a woman’s uterus, also referred to as the womb. The uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. Once a woman has had a hysterectomy, she will no longer be able to menstruate or become pregnant. There are different types of hysterectomies, namely partial hysterectomy, total hysterectomy, and radical hysterectomy. A partial, also called subtotal or supracervical, hysterectomy is where the upper part of the uterus is removed, but the cervix is left in place. Total hysterectomy involves removal of both the uterus and the cervix. Radical hysterectomy is usually done in cases of cancer and involves removal of the uterus, tissue on the sides of the uterus, upper part of the vagina, and the cervix. Some of the common indications for hysterectomy include uterine fibroids; cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries; endometriosis; uterine prolapse; and chronic vaginal bleeding. Minimally invasive laparoscopic hysterectomy is usually employed to remove the uterus.
- The procedure is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
- Your surgeon will make a few small incisions on the abdomen in or around the belly button.
- A laparoscope, a thin instrument with a light and camera at the tip is inserted through one of these incisions.
- The images from the camera are displayed on a monitor to help the surgeon view the internal pelvic organs.
- Small surgical instruments are inserted through the other abdominal incisions made.
- The soft tissues are retracted to gain access to the uterus.
- The surgeon detaches the ligaments, tissues, and blood vessels surrounding the uterus.
- The uterus is then removed in pieces through the tiny incision leaving the cervix intact. The ovaries and fallopian tubes may or may not be removed depending on the patient and surgeon’s preference.
- At the end of the procedure, the scope and the instruments are withdrawn, and the incisions are closed with a sterile dressing.
- The benefits of minimally invasive laparoscopic hysterectomy include small surgical cuts, minimal pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, reduced scarring, minimal risk of infection, minimal blood loss, and minimal damage to surrounding tissues. You will probably be able to get back to most of your normal activities in a couple of weeks’ time.
- Ask your doctor to know more about minimally invasive laparoscopic hysterectomy procedure.