Most women seek a hysterectomy evaluation for certain medical indications. Some for benign reasons, including abnormal bleeding, post-menopausal bleeding, fibroids in uterus and some due to pain. Sometimes patients seek medical attention for their endometriosis for malignancies such as endometrial, ovarian and cervical cancer. All of the above are great reasons for proceeding with a hysterectomy. At Contemporary Women’s Care, Dr. Pamela Snook helps women understand their options before undergoing a hysterectomy.
Things to consider before treatment
Hysterectomies are complex procedures that require highly-skilled practitioners in terms of knowledge and experience. Before undergoing a surgical procedure for a hysterectomy, your medical care provider will consider two main types of techniques which are:
1. To proceed with the larger incision on the belly and remove the uterus through the larger abdominal incision.
2. To proceed with the minimally invasive approach, which involves the use of laparoscopy, to take all attachments from the above and remove the uterus through the vagina, or from a pure vaginal approach where all attachments are taken down from below and the uterus is then removed through the vagina.
To determine which type of hysterectomy is ideal for a patient, your care provider will favor a minimally invasive approach, mainly due to the complexity required to perform a laparotomy. Specific reasons to proceed with laparotomy include larger uterine fibroids, which would not be feasible to remove safely using a minimally invasive approach. Another common reason for a laparoscopic or vaginal approach is in the case of ovarian cancer.
The benefits of performing a hysterectomy through an open incision or a laparotomy on the abdomen
This procedure is generally performed in women who are undergoing cancer surgery for ovarian malignancy. The benefit of performing this operation through a larger incision is that your surgeon is thorough exploring all of the surfaces within your abdomen and pelvis, where your ovarian cancer can spread to.
Other indications for performing a hysterectomy through a larger incision include huge fibroids, which are benign tumors in the uterus that may make the uterus challenging to remove in a less invasive way.
Aside from those two main indications, another reason that you and your physician may select open hysterectomy is adhesions or scar tissue within the abdomen and pelvis from previous surgical procedures.
The benefits of a minimally invasive approach
Indications of minimally invasive surgery, which would be removing the uterus through the vagina, or using laparoscopic assistance, include several benign indications such as heavy vaginal bleeding, smaller fibroids, and cancer indications, for example, early uterine cancers.
This approach’s benefits are that a patient will undergo a shorter recovery period, there is a lower risk of infection, less pain after surgery, and generally, patients can return to work and other normal activities faster than if they had the surgery through the larger abdominal incision.
It is crucial for women to discuss all surgical options with their surgeon when considering a hysterectomy. Contact Contemporary Women’s Care by phone or schedule an appointment online to learn more about a hysterectomy and which option will best suit your condition.