Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA
Hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, is one of the most common surgeries performed on women in the United States, with approximately 600,000 procedures conducted annually.
It’s an operation that provides significant relief for women suffering from various conditions, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and certain types of cancer.
By addressing these health issues, a hysterectomy can greatly enhance a woman’s quality of life. If you’re concerned about reproductive health, the team of gynecological experts at AllSafe Medical Group are here to answer any questions you might have about the procedure.
What Is a Hysterectomy, and What Is a Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure aimed at removing a woman’s uterus and often her cervix. Following this surgery, the woman will cease to have menstrual cycles and lose the ability to conceive.
Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy
Contrastingly, a minimally invasive hysterectomy involves the same removal but is executed through small openings either in the abdomen or the vagina. This type of surgery utilizes advanced techniques and specialized tools, such as a laparoscope equipped with a high-definition camera, to accomplish the procedure.
Removing vs Keeping Ovaries
A hysterectomy does not mean removing the ovaries. The procedure to remove the ovaries is called an oophorectomy. Sometimes, a hysterectomy can be performed along with an oophorectomy to remove the uterus and the ovaries. The ovaries (not the uterus) are the source of your female hormones. As a woman gets older and approaches menopause, the hormonal function of the ovaries begin to decrease. Some women may experience menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood lability, or vaginal dryness.
What Is the Difference Between a Hysterectomy and a Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy?
The primary difference lies in the surgical approach. A conventional hysterectomy involves a larger incision, either in the abdomen or the vagina, to extract the uterus. This often results in more post-operative pain, longer hospital stays, and an extended recovery period.
In contrast, a minimally invasive hysterectomy employs smaller incisions by utilizing specialized instruments. This technique leads to less discomfort, shorter hospitalization, quicker recovery, and minimal scarring.
When to Consider Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy
A minimally invasive hysterectomy is often recommended for specific medical conditions. Here are some scenarios where you might consider this option.
Non-cancerous growths in the uterus, known as fibroids, are common during the reproductive years. A minimally invasive approach may be best for large, multiple, or deeply rooted fibroids.
Endometriosis involves uterine lining tissue growing outside the uterus, often causing severe pain and fertility issues. This procedure is considered after other treatments have failed.
For uterine, cervical, or ovarian cancer or precancer, a minimally invasive hysterectomy can remove tumors and may help prevent the spread of cancer cells. The procedure depends on factors, such as cancer type, stage, and overall health.
When pelvic floor muscles weaken, the uterus can drop into the vagina. If other treatments aren’t effective, this procedure can correct the issue.
Several conditions can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, including hormonal imbalances and cancer. If severe and unresponsive to medication, a minimally invasive approach might be considered.
Chronic pelvic pain may be due to reproductive or urinary system issues. When linked to the uterus and unresponsive to other treatments, a minimally invasive hysterectomy may provide a solution.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Hysterectomy?
Determining if you’re a suitable candidate for a hysterectomy depends on various factors, both medical and personal. Here are some criteria that often make someone a good candidate.
Conditions like cancer, severe endometriosis, and extensive uterine fibroids often make a hysterectomy medically necessary.
Failed Alternative Treatments
If you’ve tried other treatments, such as medication or less invasive surgeries, without success, a hysterectomy may be the next step.
Types of Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy Procedures
Various minimally invasive hysterectomy options are available, each with its own set of advantages and considerations.
Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH)
In this procedure, a laparoscope and small instruments are used. They’re inserted through tiny incisions in your navel and abdomen. The uterus is then separated from the cervix and taken out through one of these incisions.
Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy (TLH)
This is similar to LSH, but it goes a step further by removing the entire uterus, including the cervix, through the vagina.
Total Vaginal Hysterectomy (VH)
In this method, a small incision is made at the top of the vagina. The uterus and cervix are then removed through this opening, leaving no visible scars.
Robotic-Assisted Total Hysterectomy
This approach uses a robotic surgical system and is similar to a Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy. It allows for greater precision during the procedure.
Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH)
Here, a mini camera is inserted via a small abdominal incision. The uterus is detached using specialized tools, and an incision is made at the top of the vagina. The uterus and cervix are then removed through this vaginal incision.
FAQ: Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA
Before undergoing a minimally invasive hysterectomy, it’s important to prepare both physically and mentally. While each hysterectomy procedure will be unique, here are some steps you can take to prepare.
- Gather Information. Understand what to expect during and after your surgery.
- Follow Medication Instructions. Find out whether you should take your usual medications in the days before your hysterectomy.
- Arrange for Help. Arrange for someone to help you out at home for the first few weeks after surgery.
- Lifestyle Changes. Your healthcare provider may recommend pre-operative lifestyle changes, such as exercise and smoking cessation.
- Supplements. Some supplements can help prepare you for a hysterectomy. For example, taking a daily multivitamin can help improve general health, and vitamin C can help promote healing.
Most patients who undergo a minimally invasive surgery can usually be sent home the same day or sometimes the next morning. Recovery from a minimally invasive hysterectomy can take as little as two weeks. However, for all forms of hysterectomy, sexual activity is restricted for at least six weeks. During recovery:
- Rest at Home. Take it easy and arrange for family members or friends to help you.
- Resume Activities Gradually. Most patients take two to three weeks off of work and normal activities. During your follow-up appointments with our experts, be sure to inquire about how quickly you can resume your usual activities.
- Avoid Strenuous Activities. For three to four weeks following your procedure, do not perform activities that strain your stomach muscles, such as heavy lifting (anything over 10 pounds or 5 kilograms), vacuuming, pushing a lawn mower, weight training, or high-impact sports.
- Pain Management. Take your pain medication as prescribed by your surgeon.
Although minimally invasive hysterectomies are generally safe, any surgery has risks. Risks of minimally invasive hysterectomies include:
- Heavy bleeding
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs
- Damage to the bladder and other nearby organs
- Adverse reaction to anesthetic
It’s essential to point out that these risks are minimized if the patients choose an experienced team of surgeons to perform their operation, which is why selecting a surgeon you feel comfortable with is critical for a safe and successful minimally invasive hysterectomy.
Minimally invasive hysterectomy offers several benefits over traditional open surgery.
- Less Pain. Smaller incisions mean less pain.
- Shorter Hospital Stays. Patients typically stay in the hospital for one to two nights after a laparoscopic, robotic, or vaginal hysterectomy.
- Faster Recovery. Patients can usually resume their usual activities more quickly.
- Smaller Scars. Small incisions result in smaller scars.
There are several alternatives to hysterectomy, including less invasive outpatient surgical procedures that leave the uterus intact or medications. Some of these alternatives include:
- Myomectomy. This is surgery to remove the fibroids alone.
- Endometrial Ablation. This procedure destroys the lining of the uterus to treat heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE). This is a non-invasive procedure in which your doctor injects small particles into the arteries of your uterus that feed the fibroids, cutting off their blood supply.
Hysterectomy in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA
Minimally invasive hysterectomy offers patients many benefits over traditional open hysterectomies. However, it’s important to have a thorough discussion with your gynecologist about your specific condition, the risks and benefits of the procedure, and potential alternatives before making your decision.
Remember, every patient’s journey is unique, and following your doctor’s post-treatment care instructions is key to ensuring a successful outcome. If you’re considering or suspect you might need a hysterectomy, please don’t hesitate to contact the expert team at AllSafe Medical Group by completing our contact form or calling us at (562) 904-6031 for treatment with the utmost discretion, compassion, and care.