A hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus, sometimes including the fallopian tubes and ovaries, is a common procedure most often associated with vaginal bleeding, cystic conditions, cancer, endometriosis, and prolapse.
When faced with the necessity of a hysterectomy there are several options available depending on your exact condition. One of those choices is the abdominal hysterectomy.
The abdominal hysterectomy is usually performed under general anesthesia and lasts approximately 1-2 hours. Once you are in the operating room a catheter will be placed to empty your bladder and will usually stay in place for a little bit of time after the actual surgery. Any hair at the incision line will be shaved. The most classic type of incision takes place horizontally at the bikini line.
There is also the option of a vertical incision but this decision rest with your surgeon and is dependent on the reason for the hysterectomy, the need to explore the upper abdomen, the size of your uterus, and if there are any scars or scar tissue from previous abdominal surgery. The surgeon will then cut through the skin and connective tissue to reach your uterus.
When you wake up after surgery you can expect to be groggy from the anesthesia and also may experience some pain. You can expect to spend a few hours in the recovery room, be up and walking around the following day, and go home 1-2 days after surgery. You will be using sanitary pads for vaginal discharge and the abdominal wound will heal over time but a scar will remain.
An abdominal hysterectomy is major surgery and for most women a full recovery will take 6-8 weeks. During that time it is important to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, don’t lift heavy things, and don’t resume sexual activity for at least 6 weeks. There may be a few other recommendations that your doctor with discuss with you.
A hysterectomy is a very safe procedure but as with any surgery there are some risks. These include; blood clots, hemorrhage, infection, damage to the urinary tract or pelvis, and an early onset of menopause. Having a hysterectomy also will change your life in some ways.
You can expect no more periods, relief from the symptoms necessitating the hysterectomy, no chance of getting pregnant, and possible initiation of menopause. These are all important things to know about before you have a hysterectomy so speak with your doctor extensively for full understanding of what to expect.
Written by Mary Hickcox who is a registered nurse, trained in the US. She has worked for 12 years in Connecticut hospitals, first as a nurse’s aide and then as Registered Nurse (RN). Her experience is in surgical and emergency medicines, although she has also worked in medical, cardiology, and oncology.
Dr. Adam Paer. OB/GYN
Mediplaza 500 mts South of Multiplaza Escazú
Tel: 506 2201-7201 506 2201-7041
Cel: 506 8384-8997
Article ID Number 3112
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