What is a Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus. Hysterectomies can be performed in several ways; vaginal hysterectomy (surgery is performed through the vagina), abdominal hysterectomy (surgery is performed through a large incision in the abdominal wall), laparoscopic hysterectomy (surgery is performed through small incisions in the abdominal wall), and laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (through a combination of vaginal and laparoscopic surgery).
A total laparoscopic hysterectomy is where the surgery is conducted entirely via laparoscopic instruments inserted through keyhole or “Band Aid” incisions in the woman’s lower abdomen, leaving tiny scars that are easily concealed by a bikini. Many gynecologists continue to offer their patients abdominal hysterectomies because they do not have the necessary skills to perform the procedure laparoscopically. Abdominal hysterectomies leave a large abdominal scar and are associated with a longer recovery time than vaginal and laparoscopic hysterectomies.
When is a hysterectomy indicated?
Hysterectomy may be indicated for uterine symptoms (heavy bleeding and severe uterine pain) that cannot be managed conservatively, and in the treatment of uterine and ovarian malignancies. Common conditions that may require hysterectomy for their resolution are uterine fibroids and adenomyosis.
Will having a hysterectomy have an adverse effect on my ability to engage in pleasurable sexual intercourse?
Many women facing hysterectomy worry about the effects of the surgery on their sex lives. Research into the impact of hysterectomy on sexual pleasure actually reports an improvement in women’s sex lives and sexual function following hysterectomy. This may well be due to the fact that the conditions that warrant hysterectomy can severely impact all aspects of a woman’s quality of life, including her sex life.
Will having a hysterectomy bring on early menopause?
As long as the ovaries are retained and their bloodflow is not compromised, hysterectomy should have no impact on when a woman naturally enters menopause.
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