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Womens Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is surgery to remove a woman's uterus or womb. The uterus is organ in which the fetus develops when a woman is pregnant. After a hysterectomy, you no longer have menstrual periods and can't become pregnant. Sometimes the surgery also removes the ovaries and fallopian tubes. If you have both ovaries taken out, you will enter menopause.

Your health care provider might recommend a hysterectomy if you have:

  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis 
  • Adenomyosis
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Cancer of the uterine, cervix, or ovaries
  • Vaginal bleeding that persists despite treatment
  • Chronic pelvic pain, as a last resort

What structures are removed when having a hysterectomy? 

  • Total hysterectomy—the entire uterus, including the cervix, is removed.
  • Supracervical (also called subtotal or partial) hysterectomy—the upper part of the uterus is removed, but the cervix is left in place. This type of hysterectomy can only be performed laparoscopically or abdominally.
  • Radical hysterectomy—this is a total hysterectomy that also includes removal of structures around the uterus. It may be recommended if cancer is diagnosed or suspected.

What other organs besides the cervix and uterus may be removed during a total hysterectomy?

One or both of your ovaries and fallopian tubes may be removed if they are abnormal (for example, they are affected by endometriosis). Your surgeon may not know whether the ovaries and fallopian tubes will be removed until the time of surgery. Women at risk of ovarian cancer or breast cancer can choose to have both ovaries removed even if these organs are healthy in order to reduce their risk of cancer.

What will happen if my ovaries are removed before I have gone through menopause?

You will experience immediate menopause signs and symptoms. You also may be at increased risk of osteoporosis. Hormone therapy can be given to relieve signs and symptoms of menopause and may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Hormone therapy can be started immediately after surgery. Other medications can be given to prevent osteoporosis if you are at high risk.

What are the different ways hysterectomy can be performed?

A hysterectomy can be done in different ways: through the vagina, through the abdomen, or with laparoscopy. The choice will depend on why you are having the surgery and other factors. Sometimes, the decision is made after the surgery begins and the surgeon is able to see whether other problems are present.

McLaren Central Michigan Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH)

McLaren Central Michigan and the physicians of the Women's Medical Center offer Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy (TLH).

Unlike the traditional hysterectomy which requires a large abdominal incision and long recovery time four to six weeks), the TLH causes less stress to the body, reduces pain, has minimal scarring and a much shorter recovery time (as short as one week).

The LSH procedure uses a thin, lighted telescope-like instrument called a laparoscope, which acts like a video camera, along with small surgical instruments that are all inserted through three to four tiny incisions in the navel and abdomen. Using the instruments, the surgeon carefully separates the uterus and cervix from the vagina and removes it through the vagina. Because this type of surgery does not require the surgeon to make a large abdominal incision, a woman will not have the same kind of visible scar typical with most traditional "open" surgeries.

McLaren Lapeer Region Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is the second most common surgery for women, with one out of every three women having the surgery before age 60. However, surveys show women often delay hysterectomy, especially for benign conditions, due to fear of pain, scarring and a long recover time.

During a laparoscopic hysterectomy, the surgeon maneuvers instruments that are inserted through special ports in the patient's abdomen. Typically, three dime-sized incisions are needed to place the various laparoscopic devices inside the patients. One of those instruments is a tiny camera called an endoscope. The endoscope's view from inside the patient is displayed on a color video monitor that the surgeon views to conduct the procedure. In many cases this technique offers a better visualization of the body's internal structures than traditional open surgery.

"The benefits of laparoscopic hysterectomy are nothing short of remarkable," said Dr. Mutch. "Scarring is minimal because surgery is conducted via a few small poke-holes instead of an inches-long incision." 

"Hospital stays are reduced by about 50 percent - about 24 to 36 hours compared to three to seven days with traditional open surgery," added Dr. Andreitchouk. "Recovery time is significantly shortened and many patients are back to normal activities within two to three weeks instead of two to four months."

To patients, the most obvious advantage of laparoscopic surgery is a significantly faster recovery. However, research also shows minimally invasive surgery typically results in fewer complications and better clinical outcomes. By offering an innovative laparoscopic approach, these physicians are giving women new options for an improved recovery experience. Their focus is on delivering excellent clinical outcomes and getting women back to their families, activities and jobs more quickly.

For more information about minimally invasive surgical techniques available close to home, call 810-667-7323.