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Hysterectomy

(continued)

Comparison of MIP Hysterectomy and Abdominal Hysterectomy

Using an MIP approach to remove the uterus offers a number of benefits when compared to the more traditional open surgery used for an abdominal hysterectomy. In general, an MIP allows for faster recovery, shorter hospital stays, less pain and scarring, and a lower chance of infection than does an abdominal hysterectomy.

With an MIP, women are generally able to resume their normal activity within an average of three to four weeks, compared to four to six weeks for an abdominal hysterectomy. And the costs associated with an MIP are considerably lower than the costs associated with open surgery, depending on the instruments used and the time spent in the operating room. Robotic procedures, however, can be much more expensive. There is also less risk of incisional hernias with an MIP.

Not every woman is a good candidate for a minimally invasive procedure. The presence of scar tissue from previous surgeries, obesity, and health status can all affect whether or not an MIP is advisable. You should talk with your doctor about whether you might be a candidate for an MIP.

Risks of Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is a low-risk surgery. Most women who undergo hysterectomy have no serious problems or complications from the surgery. However, as with any surgery, hysterectomy can result in complications for a small minority of women. Those complications include:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginal prolapse (part of the vagina coming out of the body)
  • Fistula formation (an abnormal connection that forms between the vagina and bladder)
  • Chronic pain

Other risks from hysterectomy include wound infections, blood clots, hemorrhage, and injury to surrounding organs, although these are uncommon.

What to Expect After Hysterectomy

After a hysterectomy, if the ovaries were also removed, a woman will enter menopause. If the ovaries were not removed, a woman may enter menopause at an earlier age than she would have otherwise.

Most women are told to abstain from sex and avoid lifting heavy objects for six weeks after hysterectomy.

After a hysterectomy, the vast majority of women surveyed feel the operation was successful at improving or curing their main problem (for example, pain or heavy periods).

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH on August 11, 2014
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