A hysterectomy is a procedure that is performed to remove a woman’s uterus. It can be done either laparoscopcially or in a standard open surgery. The incisions for either procedure can be made in the vagina or abdomen.
• Hysterectomy is recommended for the treatment of:
• Tumors in the uterus
• Uterine fibroids
• Uterine cancer
• Cervical cancer
• Cervical dysplasia
• Ovarian Cancer
• Chronic vaginal bleeding
• Prolapsed uterus
• Chronic pelvic pain
• Childbirth complications
Length of the procedure: 1 to 2 hours
Hospital Stay: Most patents are hospitalized for 2 to 5 days when they have a hysterectomy.
Recovery before traveling home: Patients seeking a hysterectomy through medical tourism can return home within 3 to 6 days of their procedure.
Travel Tip: When planning your trip find out if your hysterectomy will be done through open or laparoscopic surgery. Patients who have a laparoscopic procedure can plan a shorter stay because they are generally released from care more quickly.
Your surgery will begin with the administration of general anesthesia. The type of hysterectomy you have will be decided ahead of time. The decision is based upon your medical history and the reason for your surgery.
Open abdominal hysterectomy begins with a 5 to 7 inch incision in the lower belly. Open vaginal hysterectomy begins with an incision inside your vagina. Laparoscopic hysterectomy is done through a small incision in the vagina or 3 to 4 small incisions in the abdomen.
When you have a hysterectomy your surgeon will remove all or part of the uterus. They may also remove the fallopian tubes and or the ovaries. If the connecting reproductive organs are left intact they will be separated from the uterus and tied off before the uterus is removed.
After the Procedure
After the procedure you will be taken to recovery. Your vitals will be monitored carefully during this time. When you have woken from the surgery and your vitals are stable you will be moved to a regular hospital room.
You will be given pain medication through an IV or in pill form. You will have a catheter in your bladder for the first 24 to 48 hours. The hospital staff will encourage you to get up and move around as much as possible.
Self care after hysterectomy:
• Avoid heavy lifting
• Do light housework or short walks for activity
• Avoid strenuous activity for 4 to 8 weeks
• Avoid driving for 3 weeks
• Avoid sexual activity for 6 weeks
• Avoid use of douche, tampons or any other vaginal insert for 6 weeks
Generally people begin to feel better between 4 to 6 weeks post-op. The recovery from vaginal surgery both open and laparoscopic is much smoother and rapid than the abdominal procedures. If your ovaries were removed during the procedure it may cause early menopause. In this case estrogen replacement therapy may be merited.
Risks and Complications
As is with any surgery there are risks associated with hysterectomy. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications:
• Reaction to anesthesia or medication
• Breathing problems
• Blood clots
• Pulmonary embolism
• Organ damage
• Blood vessel damage
• Bowel injury
• Bladder injury
• Pain during sex
• Early menopause
Contact your physician if any of the following occur:
• Fever above 100.5 degrees
• Bleeding from surgical wound
• Surgical wound feels warm or is warm to touch
• Draining of surgical wound is bloody, yellow, green, thick or foul smelling.
• Pain is uncontrolled with medication
• Persistent cough
• Loss of appetite or loss of thirst
• Pain or burning during urination
• Inability to urinate
• Vaginal discharge has foul odor
• Vaginal bleeding is heavy or goes from light to heavy
• Swelling or pain in one or both legs