When you’re contemplating a hysterectomy, there are many factors to consider that can complicate your decision. Will it be a total hysterectomy? Will you keep your ovaries? Will you have a traditional or minimally invasive procedure? Dr. Srisawai Pattamakom is a highly-regarded, board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist at Ideal Women’s Health Specialists in Ventura, California. She understands the confusion and anxiety women experience when faced with a hysterectomy. She takes the time to explain your options fully and answer all your questions. Call the office today for an appointment or use their online scheduling service to book your visit.
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Q & A about Hysterectomies
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What types of hysterectomies are there?
Technically, a hysterectomy is the surgical removal of your uterus. There are many levels to a hysterectomy, however, that may or may not involve removing your cervix, ovaries, and other reproductive structures.
Types of hysterectomy include:
- A supracervical hysterectomy, during which your surgeon removes the upper part of the uterus and leaves the cervix behind
- A total hysterectomy, which removes the uterus and cervix
- A total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, during which the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes (salpingo), and ovaries (oophor) are removed
- A radical hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy removes the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, the upper portion of the vagina and some of the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes
What does a hysterectomy treat?
Because it’s a major surgery that can cause dramatic changes in your life, a hysterectomy is often considered as a final treatment alternative for:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding that isn’t controlled with other treatments
- Severe endometriosis that’s causing extreme pelvic pain and other related symptoms
- Uterine fibroids that have increased in size and number and are significantly painful or causing excessive bleeding
- Uterine prolapse, when the uterus has “dropped” into the vaginal canal and is causing significant issues with symptoms such as urinary incontinence and difficulty with bowel movements
- Radical hysterectomies are often performed to treat cervical or uterine cancer.
What is a traditional hysterectomy?
A traditional abdominal hysterectomy is performed through a horizontal (bikini incision) or vertical incision in the abdominal wall. The uterus and other structures are removed using traditional instruments and surgical techniques. You’re typically under general anesthesia (asleep) for the procedure and remain in the hospital for 1-2 nights after the surgery.
It can take 4-6 weeks to fully recover from the surgery. During that time, you’re typically restricted from certain activities such as heavy lifting, vacuuming, and other strenuous chores. It’s also recommended that you not drive for 1-2 weeks after the surgery and avoid sexual intercourse for 6 weeks.
What is minimally invasive hysterectomy?
Whenever possible, Dr. Pattamakom prefers the laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgical technique using the da Vinci system for hysterectomy. Rather than one large incision, the da Vinci approach requires just a few small incisions that mean decreased blood loss, faster healing time, and fewer risks of post-surgical complications.
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