The Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics at Vimhans Nayati Super Speciality Hospital is well reputed across the country. Department has highly accomplished surgeons, who expert in handling all type of gynaecological surgeries. Hysterectomy is one of the complex surgeries conducted in this department to save many lives endangered due to chronic uterus infections, which may even turn cancerous in some patients.
According to medical science, hysterectomy is the term used for the surgery where the uterus of a woman is removed from her body. The uterus is the female organ that is responsible for the pregnancy of a woman. The menstruation of a woman initiates from the cells lining the uterine walls. Any kind of infection in this organ can lead to severe pain and vaginal bleeding, for which hysterectomy is the only option in many cases.
Sometimes, ovaries and fallopian tubes may also need to be removed during this surgery, to save the life of a patient. All the female hormones and eggs are produced in the ovaries and fallopian tubes are needed for transporting those eggs from ovaries to the uterus. Therefore, a woman cannot expect to be pregnant throughout her life after the conductance of hysterectomy. She also stops menstruating due to the removal of the uterus.
Major indications of hysterectomy
Doctors recommend hysterectomy only for a few critical cases where no other treatment can be effective in curing a patient. The following complications demand hysterectomy in a patient –
- Cancer in reproductive organs – If cancerous growth in the cervix, uterus, and ovaries cannot be cured by medications or radiotherapy, hysterectomy is the best treatment.
- Development of fibroids – Cancerous tumours may develop from the rapid growth of fibroids in the uterus. However, minor cases of fibroids may not need any treatment.
- Endometriosis – This is a rare condition when the tissues of uterine walls extend to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and even other abdominal organs.
- Uterine prolapse – The uterus may collapse down to the vagina if the surrounding ligaments and tissues become weak and fail to support the uterus anymore.
- Continuous vaginal bleeding – The menstruation continues for too long, with heavy bleeding that cannot be controlled by any medication.
- Chronic pain in the pelvis – If any disorder in the uterus is the reason for the chronic pelvic pain, then only the hysterectomy can provide relief to the patient.
- Adenomyosis – In this health condition, uterine lining cells grow and invade deeper into the muscles of the uterus.
How to prepare for a hysterectomy?
A patient needs to be physically and mentally prepared for a hysterectomy. There are different stages of this preparation, starting from a month before the surgery to the day of operation.
Preparations for 30 days before the surgery
- Aim for weight loss if you are obese.
- Quit or at least reduce smoking
- Follow medications prescribed by your doctor
- Undergo treatments for other ailments
- Take leave for post-surgical recovery
Preparations on the day of surgery
- Do not eat or drink anything on the day when your hysterectomy is scheduled unless recommended by your doctor.
What happens during the procedure?
- Abdominal hysterectomy – A horizontal incision is made on the lower abdomen according to the size of the uterus of the patient after administering general anaesthesia before the surgery. All the ligaments and surrounding tissues are moved apart or tied to reveal and remove the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This incision is stitched after the uterus and other parts are removed.
- Vaginal hysterectomy – No incision is needed as the entire surgical procedure is conducted through the vaginal opening, after applying local anaesthesia. The uterine blood vessels and ligaments are tied aside, to remove the uterus and cervix.
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy – Very tiny incision is made with the help of a laparoscopic instrument, applying general anaesthesia. Bipolar energy is utilized for moving aside the blood vessels, dissection of the uterus, and closing the vagina during this surgery.
What to expect post the procedure?
- The recovery time after a hysterectomy depends on the type of surgery conducted on a patient.
- If you undergo an abdominal hysterectomy, you can go home around 2 – 3 days after the surgery but need complete rest for 6 – 8 weeks.
- The recovery period in the case of vaginal hysterectomy is much lesser and you can expect a full recovery within only 2 weeks. However, you still need to maintain caution for 6 weeks.
- You can expect the least recovery time for laparoscopic hysterectomy, as the patient can return to normal life within a range of 6 days to 2 weeks.
However, you should not lift heavy weight items within the recommended recovery period. However, patients are advised for walking and light works during that time.
Benefits of hysterectomy
- Provides relief from abnormal menstrual bleeding
- Cure of the lower abdominal pain and cramps
- Saves life from the spread of cancer to other body parts