A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes all or part of a woman’s uterus with the goal of reduced pain, bleeding, or related symptoms. In the United States it’s the most common surgical procedure, second only to C-section delivery.
Hysterectomies most commonly treat heavy or abnormal bleeding resulting from fibroids, hormonal changes, infections, uterine fibroids, or cancer. Women with pelvic support problems, chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis, and adenomyosis may also require a hysterectomy for improved symptoms.
There are several types of hysterectomies. A total hysterectomy removes the entire uterus and cervix. In a partial hysterectomy, the upper portion of the uterus is removed. In a radical hysterectomy the uterus, cervix, tissue surrounding the cervix, and the upper portion of the vagina are removed. This typically treats certain cancers such as cervical cancer. In any hysterectomy, the ovaries and fallopian tubes may or may not be removed.
While hysterectomies can be highly beneficial, less extensive treatments may be ideal. Because of its intensity, Dr. Turner recommends this procedure as a last resort. In some cases, other treatments are used, such as Kegel exercises, medications, or other surgical procedures to help end pain and bleeding. After a thorough exam and analysis of your symptoms and medical history, Dr. Turner will help determine the best course of treatment for you.
During a laparoscopic hysterectomy, Dr. Turner makes small incisions in your lower abdomen and inserts tiny surgical tools and a laparoscope -- a lighted tube with a camera on the end. This device allows him to see inside your abdomen. Dr. Turner then removes your uterus through your vagina or through an incision in your abdomen. You’ll be under general anesthesia and asleep during the surgery, which can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis. You can expect roughly 2 weeks of recovery time, and prescription medications can help manage any pain you may experience.
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