Is there a less painful way to get a hysterectomy?
I am a strong advocate of minimally-invasive procedures whenever possible, using very small incisions.
Hysterectomies are most often performed to treat uterine fibroids, abnormal bleeding or endometriosis.
Laparoscopic hysterectomies now allow us to remove the uterus through the navel. We use a very small laparoscope, a miniature camera attached to a slender scope. The scope projects a close-up view of the female reproductive organs onto a video screen.
Sometimes we encounter scarring from a previous procedure and cannot see well enough through the scope to perform the entire procedure through the navel. In such cases, we perform a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy, performed through an incision at the top of the vagina.
On very rare occasions, we may not be able to perform this procedure either and must perform the open abdominal procedure, which requires a large incision.
I am always pleased to see how much faster my patients recover after a laparoscopic hysterectomy. Because they do not need to be on narcotic painkillers, they quickly return to normal activities.
Unfortunately, many women are not yet aware of this minimally-invasive approach to hysterectomies.
Hajira Yasmin, M.D.