Type of Surgery

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Last updated: 11/24/2009

Alternatives

Women for whom a hysterectomy is recommended should discuss possible alternatives with their doctor and consider getting a second opinion, since this is major surgery with life-changing implications. Whether an alternative is appropriate for...

any individual woman is a decision she and her doctor should make together. Some alternative procedures to hysterectomy include:

  • Embolization. During uterine artery embolization, interventional radiologists put a catheter into the artery that leads to the uterus and inject polyvinyl alcohol particles right where the artery leads to the blood vessels that nourish the fibroids. By killing off those blood vessels, the fibroids have no more blood supply, and they die off. Severe cramping and pain after the procedure is common, but serious complications are less than 5% and the procedure may protect fertility.
  • Myomectomy. A myomectomy is a surgery used to remove fibroids, thus avoiding a hysterectomy. Hysteroscopic myomectomy, in which a surgical hysteroscope (telescope) is inserted into the uterus through the vagina, can be done on an outpatient basis. If there are large fibroids, however, an abdominal incision is required. Patients typically are hospitalized for two to three days after the procedure and require up to six weeks recovery. Laparoscopic myomectomies are also being done more often. They only require three small incisions in the abdomen, and have much shorter hospitalization and recovery times. Once the fibroids have been removed, the surgeon must repair the wall of the uterus to eliminate future bleeding or infection.
  • Endometrial ablation. In this surgical procedure, recommended for women with small fibroids, the entire lining of the uterus is removed. After undergoing endometrial ablation, patients are no longer fertile. The uterine cavity is filled with fluid and a hysteroscope is inserted to provide a clear view of the uterus. Then, the lining of the uterus is destroyed using a laser beam or electric voltage. The procedure is typically done under anesthesia, although women can go home the same day as the surgery. Another newer procedure involves using a balloon, which is filled with superheated liquid and inflated until it fills the uterus. The liquid kills the lining, and after eight minutes the balloon is removed.
  • Endometrial resection. The uterine lining is destroyed during this procedure using an electrosurgical wire loop (similar to endometrial ablation).

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In a hysterectomy, the reproductive organs are accessed through a lower abdominal incision or laparoscopically (A). Ligaments and supporting structures called pedicles connecting the uterus to surrounding organs are severed (B). Arteries to the uterus are severed (C). The uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed (D and E). (Illustration by GGS Inc.) In a hysterectomy, the reproductive organs are accessed through a lower abdominal incision or laparoscopically (A). Ligaments and supporting structures called pedicles connecting the uterus to surrounding organs are severed (B). Arteries to the uterus are severed (C). The uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed (D and E). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)




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Other Information

A hysterectomy (from Greek ὑστέρα hystera "womb") is the surgical removal of the uterus, usually performed by a gynecologist. Hysterectomy may be total (removing the body, fundus, and cervix of the uterus; often called "complete") or partial (removal of the uterine body but leaving the cervical stump, also called "supracervical"). It is the most commonly performed gynecological surgical procedure. In 2003, over 600,000 hysterectomies were performed in the United States alone, of which over 90% were performed for benign conditions.


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hysterectomy

Other Information

an obstetrician/gynecologist is a physician specialist who provides medical and surgical care to women and has particular expertise in pregnancy, childbirth, and disorders of the reproductive system.


From: womenshealthchannel.com

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