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Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy Speeds Recovery

By HERWriter
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Hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women in the U.S. For women who have the option, a minimally invasive hysterectomy can reduce scarring and improve recovery time.

A hysterectomy is surgery that removes the uterus and cervix from a woman’s reproductive system. As discussed in the ]]> Hysterectomy Overview ]]>, there are three surgical methods that are typically used to perform a hysterectomy: abdominal, vaginal and laparoscopic.

Abdominal surgery is invasive surgery that requires a larger incision to open the abdomen and allow the surgeon direct access to the reproductive organs. This procedure may be necessary if there is cancer present that may have spread into the abdominal cavity, or if a lymph nodes need to be removed from the abdomen.

Vaginal surgery is a less invasive way to perform a hysterectomy. The vagina, also known as the birth canal, is the passage that leads from the uterus to the outside of the body. During a vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus is cut away from the vagina and is removed from the body through the vagina. This surgery is only possible when the uterus is small enough to pass through the vagina. Because the incision is made inside the vagina, there may be no visible scarring from this type of surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that requires several small incisions in the abdomen instead of a large incision. The surgeon inserts a tiny video camera through one incision which allows him to see the inside of the abdomen on a video monitor. Tiny surgical instruments are inserted through other small incisions to perform the surgery. The uterus is removed through one of the small incisions.

Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy is a procedure that uses laparoscopic instruments to assist with surgery that is done through the vagina. This procedure also allows lymph nodes to be removed from the abdomen through the vagina using the laparoscopic instruments.

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I'm sorry that your wife has had so many problems. You bring up a good point that while a "minimally invasive surgery" may require smaller incisions and potentially less trauma to the body through the surgical procedure, it is still surgery that can have serious consequences. A minimally invasive method does not lessen the impact on the body that removing the lymph nodes will have - it only affects the method of the removal.

March 10, 2010 - 12:53am
EmpowHER Guest

Yeah, right. . . My wife had a "minimally invasive" Laparoscopic Hysterectomy as a way to reduce the remote, but possible risk of cancer. Her "rapid" recovery was a week in the hospital and two years to get anywhere near normal, which she'll naver reach, as the Lymph Node removal increased peripheral edema to the point that she cannot maintain normal activity. Prior to this 'preventive minimal procedure', she was vibrant, energetic and looking forward to many travels and activities. Now she's partly crippled, depressed and severely limited for the rest of her life... and we both regret ever being talked into such a thing as "minimally invasive".

March 7, 2010 - 11:38am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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