Laparoscopic Outpatient Hysterectomy
"Hysterectomy" means the removal of the uterus. There are two parts to the uterus: the body of the uterus and the cervix. There are three different types of hysterectomies.
Total Abdominal Hysterectomy
Today 68% of all hysterectomies are Total Abdominal Hysterectomies. That means you will have your procedure done in a hospital and can expect a stay of between 1-3 nights depending on your situation. For this procedure, the physician is working with the naked eye. A patient can expect a little more bleeding, pain, and a longer recovery time. You'll likely be out of work for 4-6 weeks minimum.
Risks/side effects include: a greater chance of blood loss due to the incisions in the abdomen, soreness, recovery is a bit longer, and you'll be hospitalized for 1-3 days. You can't lift anything over 20lbs for about 6 weeks.
Vaginal Hysterectomies account for 18% of hysterectomies that are performed. When you have a vaginal hysterectomy, everything is performed vaginally. The surgeon is operating through the vagina which means that they are using their sense of touch more than their eyesight in order to remove the uterus. It works well, is safe, the risk of infection is low.
Risks/side effects include: an overnight hospital stay, soreness, bleeding is not as high as a total abdominal hysterectomy, infection rates are pretty low. You can't lift anything over 20lbs for about 4 weeks.
Laparoscopic Hysterectomies account for 14% of hysterectomies that are performed. This method was discovered in 1992 and Dr. Davis was one of the first waves of Doctors to begin performing a hysterectomy with this method. During this procedure, everyone in the room is part of the doctor's team and contributes to the surgery.
With a laparoscopic hysterectomy, we will make four 5mm incisions (one in your belly button, one above your pelvic bone, and one by each hip). High definition cameras that are attached to scopes are then inserted into the abdominal cavity with a high intensity fiber optic light. This allows us to project the images from inside the abdominal cavity onto screens around the operating room allowing all people in the room to watch the surgery. This allow allows us to take photos while inside the body to show patients what we found and removed during the procedure. Once we have prepped the uterus, we will go in vaginally and make a small incision at the top of the vagina through which we remove the uterus.
Benefits include: recovery is really quick due to small incisions, minimal blood loss, you'll be permitted to leave about 3-4hrs after surgery, you'll be back to work in about 2 weeks (or sooner if you don't have to lift for your job).
Anesthesia is really important. We've perfected a method today which allows us to put in a spinal medication before the patient goes to sleep. Now, this medication is working while we are performing the surgery. Without a spinal, your body would still recognize that you are experiencing pain. This prevents us from having to administer narcotics during surgery which limits nausea and pain during recovery - cutting your recovery time in half.
After surgery you need to make sure that you talk to your gynecologist about beginning your hormone therapy immediately after surgery.
Soaking in the tub helps alleviate pain as well and will help speed up your recovery. Make sure to ask your surgeon how long to wait before getting in the tub. Different procedures will vary.
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