Your Complete Guide to a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
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What Are Hysterectomies?
Hysterectomies are one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States; in fact they are the second most common procedure among women. More than 600,000 hysterectomies are performed by OBGYN’s each year. A Laparoscopic Hysterectomy is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove the uterus or womb. A hysterectomy is a permanent and irreversible procedure, which will stop the menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy. You may need a hysterectomy for various reasons. Also, the extent of a hysterectomy varies depending on the reason for the surgery. In most cases, the entire uterus is removed. Your doctor may also remove the ovaries and the fallopian tubes during the procedure if medically necessary.
A hysterectomy is typically considered a last line of defense, however it is highly effective in treating various reproductive conditions. Your doctor may suggest a hysterectomy if you have any of the following:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Uncontrollable vaginal bleeding
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries
- Uterine fibroids that cause pain, bleeding, or other problems
- Pelvic inflammatory disease: a serious infection of the reproductive organs.
- Pelvic adhesions
- Uterine prolapse: occurs when the uterus drops through the cervix and protrudes from the vagina.
- Endometriosis: a disorder in which the inner lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterine cavity, causing pain and bleeding.
- Adenomyosis: a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus grows into the muscles of the uterus.
During a laparoscopic hysterectomy, the patient will be under general anesthesia for about 1 to 3 hours. During this time, your doctor will make a tiny incision at the belly button to insert a tiny instrument called a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a long, thin tube with a high-intensity light and a high-resolution camera at the front. This allows the doctor to see what they are doing and complete the procedure through three very small incisions. This is exceptionally minor compared to a traditional hysterectomy, which requires a three to six inch incision. The small incisions allow your doctor to have a better look at the anatomy and stay extremely precise. Once the surgeon can see your uterus, they’ll cut the uterus into small pieces and remove one piece at a time. Patients of a laparoscopic hysterectomy will experience less blood loss, less scarring, lower chance of infection, and less post-operational pain than the traditional procedure. Patients can also have this procedure on an outpatient basis, and are often fully recovered in only one to two weeks.
It is important for you to understand the reasons that your doctor has suggested a hysterectomy as treatment for your specific gynecological issue. A hysterectomy is a major decision that you should take after careful consultation with your doctor. Dr. Quartell is highly skilled and experienced in performing this type of procedure. He will ensure you are treated with the highest quality of care to guarantee a safe procedure and speedy recovery.
If you think you may need a laparoscopic hysterectomy, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Quartell by calling 973-716-9600 to further discuss if this procedure is right for you.