Every year, one of the most common surgeries performed on women remains hysterectomy, accounting for about 600,000 procedures across the country. Almost one-third of American women will have a hysterectomy by the time they reach the age of 65, and 90% of these surgeries will be for noncancerous conditions.
Traditionally, hysterectomy required abdominal surgery with large incisions that took weeks or months to heal. Layers of muscle had to be cut and pulled aside to access the uterus for removal, and it’s damage to these muscles that creates the need for long recovery times.
Our team at Southeast Urogyn specializes in minimally invasive hysterectomy techniques. Instead of surgery followed by days of hospitalization, your hysterectomy is now an outpatient procedure, and you return home the same day.
Why you may need a hysterectomy
There are many reasons why you might need your uterus removed, with or without other organs. Whenever possible, the decision to have a hysterectomy comes after a woman no longer desires children, since pregnancy is no longer supported without a uterus.
Conditions that may lead to a hysterectomy recommendation include:
- Uncontrolled heavy or abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Uncontrolled menstrual pain
- Uterine fibroids or polyps
- Uterine prolapse that causes complications
- Cancer or cancer prevention for the cervix or uterus
In most cases, you can choose minimally invasive options for your hysterectomy procedure.
Types of minimally invasive hysterectomy procedures
The fundamental principle behind minimally invasive surgery is accessing a work area inside the body in ways that avoid or minimize the size and number of incisions made.
Laparoscopic surgery uses a special tool called a laparoscope, a tubular instrument that requires an incision of half an inch or less.
Supporting imaging equipment that allows a surgeon to see inside your body, the laparoscope led to the development of surgical tools that could also work through small incisions or even the laparoscopic tube itself.
Laparoscopic techniques work well with hysterectomy, since the uterus and other tissue being removed can exit through the vagina, relieving the need for a large incision. A hysterectomy might require one or two keyhole incisions in the abdomen. We remove the uterus through the vaginal canal once we’ve cut the connective tissue.
Benefits of minimally invasive hysterectomy
With reduced damage to healthy tissue, laparoscopic surgery offers a wide range of advantages over open surgery. These benefits include:
Small incisions mean small scars. It’s easier for your body to heal, and if scars result, they’re less noticeable than those from open surgeries.
There’s less pain from smaller incisions, and since healthy tissue remains undamaged, there’s little to no pain generated there. Your need for pain relief is lower than with open surgery.
Reduced risk of infection
The small openings needed for laparoscopic instruments reduce the exposure of your body to open air. There’s less risk of postsurgical infection.
With less tissue disturbed and exposed, surgical complications are less likely. Minimally invasive surgery means minimal negative impact on your body.
Learn more about minimally invasive hysterectomy in consultation with our doctors at Southeast Urogyn in Madison and Flowood, Mississippi. Call our nearest office to book your appointment today.