Vaginal Hysterectomy Operation
A vaginal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which the uterus and cervix are removed from the body via the vagina.
Why Do I Need a Vaginal Hysterectomy?There are many reasons why a doctor might suggest a vaginal hysterectomy. It was once used as a permanent method of birth control but thanks to medical science and progress, this invasive procedure is not recommended for this reason any longer as there a re many far safer alternatives that provide effective contraceptive cover.
For some women it might be that the uterus has been proven to be cancerous in which case it must be removed in order for the woman to overcome the cancer. It is far more likely that the uterus has prolapsed into the vagina or the inner lining of the uterus known as the endometrium has begun to grow elsewhere.
Occasionally the presence of severe pelvic inflammation and infection may mean the uterus has to be removed, or there might be fibroids growing in or around the womb.
Before The OperationBefore surgery you will be visited by an anaesthetist and a surgeon. It is vital that any questions are addressed during these visits. You may be asked to sign the consent form, though this is sometimes done at pre-assessment stage if the hospital offers this service.It is important to have a fully emptied stomach prior to the procedure so no food or drink will be permitted for 6 hours before the operation with the exception of a sip of water to take tablets with if necessary.
Before the operation anti-embolism stockings may be advised to help prevent the incidence of deep vein thrombosis, which can be life-threatening and is more likely after surgery when the patient is less mobile for a short time. This can be further prevented by the administration of anti-clotting drugs but this depends of the patient medical history.
When you are taken into the operating department the anaesthetic will be given. If you are having a spinal anaesthetic it will be checked for effect several times before the operation commences.
What Is Involved In The Procedure?A vaginal hysterectomy may be performed under general or spinal anaesthetic, your anaesthetist will discuss which of these options is the most apt for your needs. The operation requires the legs to be placed in stirrups so please ensure you tell your doctor of any problems you may have with mobility or your back.
The operation involves accessing the uterus and cervix via the vagina. The tissues are cut and tied and stitched to stop bleeding.The organs will be sent for testing once removed.
All stitches used are absorbable and it is likely that the vagina will be packed with either gauze or an absorbable pack to help prevent bleeding.Some surgeons use key-hole surgery to help assist them with the procedure depending on the patients needs and anatomy, whether there are any fibroids and whether the ovaries are to be removed at the same time.
After The OperationIt is likely that you will have a urinary catheter in situ for at least 24 hours following the procedure. The nurses will also want to check the vaginal pack for any signs of bleeding.Your blood pressure, pulse and temperature will be taken regularly to assess your general condition and detect and signs of bleeding, infection or after effects of the anaesthetic.You will have been prescribed regular pain relief that will be offered to you or you can request it.
It is common to feel very sleepy afterwards and experience slight nausea and even vomiting.For the following few days you will have some vaginal discharge or bleeding. It is advised that sanitary pads are used and not tampons as these can introduce infection.
In general, women recover very well from having their uterus and cervix removed and will be fully recovered by around eight weeks and sexual intercourse can be resumed when you feel able to after this recovery period.