• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Vaginal Hysterectomy: Think About It Before You Talk About It

The uterus plays a very important role in the female reproductive system. It is an inverted, pear-shaped muscular organ that is responsible for facilitating the fertilization, implantation, and the growth of the fetus.

However, if for some complications, this same organ can do more harm than good. Vaginal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus due to such complications.

Vaginal Hysterectomy: Why is it performed?

A vaginal hysterectomy is performed when a woman undergoes one of the following complications:

●     Fibroids

●     Endometriosis

●     Gynecological Cancer

●     Abnormal uterine bleeding

●     Uterine prolapse

●     Adenomyosis

 Fibroids

A condition where benign tumors are formed in the uterus. As a result, the person will suffer from:

  1. Pelvic pain

  2. Pain during sexual intercourse

  3. Anemia

  4. Bleeding

Thus, when they are too large and cause too much pain and other symptoms, the doctor will usually recommend a vaginal hysterectomy.

Endometriosis

The lining of the uterine walls is known as the endometrium.

Endometriosis is a condition where this lining abnormally grows in other organs like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other distant organs.

Gynecological Cancer

It is the cancer formed in the following areas:

  1. Uterus

  2. Cervical canal or cervix

  3. Ovaries

  4. Endometrium

Vaginal hysterectomy is required in the case of cervical and endometrial cancer.

Pain due to complications in the uterus

Pain due to complications in the uterus, Credit: Pexels


Abnormal uterine bleeding

The person will suffer from irregular, heavy, and very long periods. In this case, a  hysterectomy is usually performed when such symptoms cannot be controlled by medications and the person is under a lot of discomfort.

Uterine prolapse

In this condition, the tissues and ligaments supporting the pelvic either weaken or stretch out.

As a result, the uterus sags into the vagina and causes problems like urine leakage, excessive pelvic pressure, or bowel movement problems.

Adenomyosis

This condition occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus, abnormally grows into the uterine wall.

As a result, the uterus gets enlarged and the person will undergo heavy and painful menstruation.

Vaginal Hysterectomy: Steps and Procedures

In this surgical procedure, the uterus is removed through the vagina.

Vaginal hysterectomy steps

  1. A small incision will be inside the vagina.

  2. With a long instrument, the surgeon will detach the uterus from the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and upper vagina, followed by the blood vessels and connective tissue.

  3. After detaching, the uterus is removed through the vaginal opening

  4. Absorbable stitches are used to control any bleeding inside the pelvis

Vaginal hysterectomy

vaginal hysterectomy, Credit: Pexels


Post-procedure: Impact and Recovery

Impact

After this procedure, the person will undergo the following:

  1. Heavy bleeding

  2. Blood clots in the legs or lungs

  3. Infection

  4. Damage or injury to nearby organs

  5. Anesthetic problems: Adverse reaction

  6. Severe endometriosis or scar tissue formation

  7. Early menopause (if the ovaries are removed).

  8. Pain during sexual intercourse

Recovery time

Recovery time, Credit: Pickpik


Recovery

The recovery of a vaginal hysterectomy is usually faster and less expensive compared to an abdominal hysterectomy, which requires an incision in your lower abdomen.

After surgery, the patient will be kept in a recovery room for only one to two hours and in the hospital overnight.

Post-surgery pain depends on the hysterectomy surgical option you undergo-  laparoscopic or vaginal hysterectomy. It usually lasts for two to three weeks and during this time, medications are given to control it. A full recovery will be made after 3-4 weeks.

Conclusion

Vaginal hysterectomy is performed when medications and other approaches fail to control the pain and symptoms caused due to a complication in the uterus. As a result, the doctor will have no choice but to offer this procedure to the patient by removing the uterus, the cause of the complications itself.

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