Many women are understandably ambivalent and anxious when told that they may need to undergo abdominal hysterectomy (a major procedure for removal of the uterus). This is because abdominal hysterectomy often conjures up image of a prolonged recovery, anecdotal stories of emotional, psychological, sexual and hormonal disturbance.
When carefully considered and performed for the right indication, hysterectomy can significantly improve the quality of life for many women, particularly if done through the vaginal or laparoscopic approaches.
What are the reasons and common benign indications for hysterectomy?
- to relieve pain and excessive menstrual bleeding caused by conditions such as endometriosis, adenomyosis or pelvic infection
- to relieve pelvic pressure caused by fibroids
- to treat certain types of prolapse of the uterus
What are the methods of hysterectomy?
There are 3 approaches to hysterectomy – abdominal, vaginal and laparoscopic.
The abdominal approach means a long abdominal incision from which women often require 5 to 7 days of hospital stay.
The vaginal hysterectomy approach allows removal of the uterus via an incision through the top of the vagina.
What are the benefits of laparoscopic hysterectomy?
In 2011, the AAGL, the premier association representing the largest number of laparoscopic surgeons globally, published the AAGL Position Statement: Route of Hysterectomy to Treat Benign
Uterine Disease available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=AAGL+2011+statement+on+hysterectomy with the aim to inform the public of
CARE database supports the AAGL Statemen in that laparoscopic hysterectomy, in experienced hands results in significantly better and safer outcomes when compared with abdominal hysterectomy.
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