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Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Hysterectomy was once considered a major surgery, but with new advances in technology, the risk of complications and recovery time has decreased.
The advent of laparoscopic technology paved the way for the first total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH) in 1989.
There are currently three methods of hysterectomies performed by surgeons. These include:
Open hysterectomy : This type of uterus removal surgery involves an incision of size 6 to 12 centimeters in the abdominal wall.
Vaginal Hysterectomy : This involves removing the uterus through the vagina and was preferred over open hysterectomy. This method, however only allowed a limited view of the uterus for the surgeon.
Laparoscopic Hysterectomy : Using laparoscopes, the surgeon gets a full view of the surrounding organs and the procedure requires only small incisions. This can either be performed as a total laparoscopic procedure or as a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy.
Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy : This is when a part of the removal is done with the laparoscope and the remaining is completed transvaginally.
Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy : When the entire uterus removal surgery is performed using the laparoscope and the surgical specimen is removed through the vagina.
Supra cervical Hysterectomy : This is the removal of the upper part of the uterus just above the cervix.
Removal of the uterus completely except the ovaries
Hysterectomy and bi lateral salpingo-Oophorectomy:
Complete removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and the ovaries
This is known as a complete or pan – hysterectomy.
Less chance of infections
Less risk of vault prolapse
Lesser pain compared to open surgery.
Minimal blood loss.
Shorter stay at the hospital.
A faster recovery to normal daily activities.
Although laparoscopic hysterectomy is a safe method, as with any surgical procedure there are chances of complications as well.
Bowel or bladder damage: There is a chance of accidental damage to nearby organs during the procedure.
Excessive Blood loss: This may occur during or after the procedure.
Infections: They're rare but sometimes infections may occur in the abdomen affecting the bladder, or in the lungs or at the site of surgical incisions.
Laparotomy: In cases where the surgeon cannot approach the uterus properly or when there is profuse bleeding then the procedure may have to be converted to open hysterectomy.