Leaving work early due to unusually heavy periods, pain, large clots and scarring are embarrassing moments for every woman. It is frustrating to be unable to get rid of these symptoms even after trying all the treatment options. For such women, a hysterectomy is a suitable option.
Abdominal hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the entire uterus and cervix through an incision in the lower abdomen. Hysterectomy can also be done by making an incision inside the vagina and removing the uterus through the vagina. This type of hysterectomy is called a vaginal hysterectomy.
Women undergo total abdominal hysterectomy for a variety of reasons such as uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, abnormal bleeding and chronic pelvic pain. Abdominal hysterectomy is considered when other treatment options fail to treat or manage the condition.
Total abdominal hysterectomy is the best option compared to other types of hysterectomy if the woman:
- have a large uterus
- is fat
- never had a baby
- have large fibroids
- However, after reviewing the overall health status of the woman, the doctor will decide whether she is eligible for an abdominal hysterectomy.
Preparation before the procedure
During the pre-procedure consultation, your surgeon will collect your medical and drug history. The surgeon will tell you about the procedure, its benefits and its risks. You need to be confident and ask any question or doubt regarding the surgery. Additionally, you will need to undergo certain tests (blood tests, X-rays) to check if you are fit for surgery. Sometimes, if your surgeon suspects cancer, a Pap test and biopsy are recommended which may change the approach to surgery.
Follow the instructions below to perform an uneventful surgery:
- Inform surgeon about use of current medications, vitamins or herbal supplements
- A week before, stop taking aspirin or any other medicines that increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery
- Inform the surgeon if you are allergic to any medicine or substance
- if you smoke, quit it
- lose weight if you are overweight
- Ask your doctor if you need to follow any dietary restrictions the day before surgery.
about the process
Total abdominal hysterectomy is performed under general anesthesia. Because of the hysterectomy, depending on the presence of a previous scar on the abdomen and the size of the uterus, the surgeon will make a horizontal or vertical incision in the abdomen.
A horizontal incision starts in the middle of the abdomen and extends down just above the pubic bone. A vertical incision is made above or below the navel and just above the pubic bone. Now, through this incision, the surgeon will access and remove the uterus and cervix. After removal, the surgeon will sew up the incision and cover it with a bandage.
Total abdominal hysterectomy makes a big difference in a woman’s life. So, following these tips can help in a quick recovery:
- get enough rest
- Do not lift heavy weights for at least six weeks after surgery
- Avoid strenuous physical activity for at least six weeks
- abstain from sex for a few weeks
- Call your doctor right away if you have severe abdominal pain or heavy bleeding (2 pads per hour)
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