Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes. A laparoscopic hysterectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows the surgeon to view the surrounding organs and get precise control over the incision. The surgery is performed using small surgical instruments, cameras and lights to aid the surgeon during the procedure. A laparoscopic hysterectomy procedure has many benefits as it involves less post-operative pain, less scarring, fewer complications and a short stay in the hospital post-surgery. This procedure involves small incisions compared to traditional hysterectomies.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy removes the uterus and cervix through small incisions below the navel. Laparoscopy surgery is also known as keyhole surgery. This procedure is suggested when alternatives such as medications or minor surgeries are unable to reduce the symptoms of gynaecological problems. Laparoscopic hysterectomy is of different types:
A laparoscopy hysterectomy can treat different conditions such as:
The surgeon will ask the patient to undergo certain tests to make sure that there are no medical conditions that may cause complications during the surgery. A pre-operative test is conducted by taking blood samples, urine samples and an electrocardiogram to check the heart. The patient is recommended to take or alter certain medications before the operation.
The estimated time of the operation depends upon factors such as the severity of the condition and the skill of the surgeon. Anaesthesia is administered via the arm or wrist (through the IV line). A monitor will be attached to the chest to read the vital signs before the anaesthesia is given. All hysterectomies are done under a general anaesthetic. A regional anaesthetic, which will block out the lower part of the body, is given if the patient has any breathing difficulties or heart disease. Leads are attached to the chest to monitor the pulse and blood pressure of the patient.
After the patient is anaesthetised, the surgery will begin by making a small incision below the navel and a thin tube is inserted into it. Carbon dioxide gas is passed through the tube to expand the abdomen which allows a better view of the organs. The laparoscope is inserted into the incision to view the organs on a monitor.
Additional incisions are made to insert other surgical instruments which lift the ovaries and fallopian tubes. The uterus or the cervix, depending on the type of hysterectomy are removed through the vagina. Once the surgery is complete, the incisions will be sealed using dissolvable stitches or sutures.
The care unit will monitor the patient’s blood pressure, oxygen levels, and vital signs. A catheter tube will be attached to the bladder to drain the urine. The patient will feel a little discomfort due to the after-effects of anaesthesia which last only for the first 24 hours.
The recovery period in a laparoscopic hysterectomy is short and less painful. Complete recovery may take 1 – 2 weeks depending on the condition of the patient. The patient is advised not to stay in bed and after a period of recovery will be asked to walk and do pelvic floor muscle exercises. After the laparoscopic hysterectomy procedure, the patient will no longer have any periods or conceive.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy is a safe procedure, but with any surgery comes it’s set of risks that could lead to further complications. Here are some risks involved with laparoscopic hysterectomy: