Vaginal hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the neck-shaped cervix, which connects the uterus and the uterus to the vagina, through a hole in the upper part of the vagina. During the procedure, surgical instruments are inserted into the vagina and the uterus is separated from the ovaries, fallopian tubes, upper vagina, and the blood vessels and connective tissues that support it. The process takes about an hour to complete. It can be done under general anesthesia or regional anesthesia (numbing your waist down). Compared to abdominal hysterectomy, which requires an abdominal incision, the patient has a faster recovery and easier return to daily routines, which includes shorter hospital stays and lower costs. The incision is small and leaves no visible scar. Vaginal hysterectomy may not be recommended in some cases, depending on the size, shape of the vagina, and the reason for the operation, in which case your doctor will provide detailed information about abdominal hysterectomy and other possible surgical interventions. In some cases, removal of the uterus and ovaries or one or both of the fallopian tubes is possible. This is called total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy. Common causes of vaginal hysterectomy include uterine prolapse and painful irregular menstrual periods.
WHAT GYNECOLOGICAL PROBLEMS CAN BE TREATED WITH VAGINAL HYSTERECTOMY SURGERY?
Vaginal hysterectomy surgeries are often recommended to treat the following gynecological problems that affect uterine functions;
Fibroids: Most hysterectomy surgeries are generally performed to treat benign fibroids that cause heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, bladder pressure, and pain during intercourse. Depending on the diameter of the fibroids, an abdominal hysterectomy (an incision in the lower abdomen) may be required. In young patients with a desire to have children, the removal of fibroids without touching the uterus is evaluated.
Uterine Prolapse: Very frequent vaginal delivery and weakening of the pelvic supporting tissues and ligaments can cause uterine prolapse. In this case, the uterus can protrude into the vagina, causing urinary incontinence, pelvic pressure, and difficulties with bowel movements. Removal of the uterus and tissue repair via a vaginal hysterectomy may relieve these symptoms.
Types of Gynecological Cancer: If you have cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovary, and endometrium, your doctor may recommend a hysterectomy. In most cases, ovarian cancer includes abdominal hysterectomy, for women with a diagnosis of endometrial or cervical cancer, a vaginal hysterectomy can be performed.
Endometriosis: It is the growth of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, and outside of the uterus, which includes the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other organs.
Although it is generally treated with a laparoscopic or robotic hysterectomy or an abdominal hysterectomy, in some cases, a vaginal hysterectomy may work.
Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding: If menstrual irregularities and painful and intensely worked periods cannot be controlled with medication, the problem of hysterectomy can be solved.
Chronic Pelvic Pain: Hysterectomy may be helpful in treatment if the call is confirmed to be clear of uterine origin. Accurate diagnosis is important when it is usually given as a last resort. If your symptoms can be controlled with medications and invasive gynecologic procedures, you may not need to consider a hysterectomy option. It is important to be prepared to give up your fertility, as you cannot get pregnant after a hysterectomy. If you have questions about this topic, it would be best to consider other treatments with your doctor.
HOW IS A VAGINAL HYSTERECTOMY DONE?
The following steps are followed during the vaginal hysterectomy operation:- General anesthesia or spinal anesthesia is applied by the anesthesiologist so that you do not feel pain during the surgery. When the anesthesia takes effect, the surgeon makes an incision just above the vagina to reach the uterus.-The uterine blood vessels, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and fallopian tubes can also be removed with the uterus if necessary by inserting the instrument to release the uterus. If the uterus has grown too much, it can be removed by the surgeon by dividing it into small pieces.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF VAGINAL HYSTERECTOMY?
Although it is a safe operation in general, there are some risks as in any surgical procedure. Several complications may occur during and after the operation. Among them, it can sometimes take place in unexpected reactions. Possible risks of vaginal hysterectomy include:
A blood transfusion may be needed due to heavy bleeding and blood loss. Rarely, a second surgery may be needed to stop the bleeding.
- General anesthesia complications Damage to surrounding organs such as bladder, ureter, intestine
- Urinary tract infection, abscess
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs
- Early menopause even if the ovaries are not removed
- Difficulty urinating after surgery
- Hernia development in the vagina Severe endometriosis or scar tissue can complicate surgery and force a switch to laparoscopic or abdominal hysterectomy.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF VAGINAL HYSTERECTOMY?
Possible side effects after surgery include the following. They are mostly temporary effects.
- Bloody vaginal discharge
- Sensitivities such as pain, swelling, and bruising
- Bloody vaginal discharge
- Emotional ups and downs
- If the uterus and ovaries are removed together during the surgery, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and dryness may occur.
HOW DOES VAGINAL HYSTERECTOMY BENEFIT?
The advantages of vaginal hysterectomy are as follows;
Compared to abdominal hysterectomy, it provides a much shorter hospital stay and a faster and less painful recovery.
- All sutures used are generally absorbable. Aesthetically, it does not leave any visible traces after the procedure.
- Provides removal of fibroids in the uterus.
It is a good method for correcting the sagging of the uterus, bladder, vagina, and rectum.
It is much more cost-effective than other procedures.
STEPS TO BE APPLIED BEFORE VAGINAL HYSTERECTOMY
The preparatory phase before vaginal hysterectomy includes several typical steps;
- Physical and pelvic examination giving information about the general condition
- Evaluation of the patient's past medical history and the drugs used by the doctor
- Blood and urine tests
- It is recommended to stop the intake of food and drink for twelve hours before the operation.
- Preoperative enemas and drugs to reduce the risk of bleeding may be prescribed to empty the intestines.
If there is smoking, quitting at least 6 months before the operation is important to prevent complications that may occur during and after the operation.
HOW TO CARE ABOUT VAGINAL HYSTERECTOMY?
Procedures to be done after the operation;
After a hysterectomy, it is necessary to stay at the hospital for at least one night. Depending on the situation, the duration may vary between 2 and 5 days.
A liquid diet may be recommended temporarily.
Medications are given to prevent pain and infection.
- After the surgery, you should not lift heavy weights for at least six weeks and avoid physical activities, heavy exercises, and sexual intercourse that will tire the body.
- After the operation, it is necessary to stay away from tub baths.
- Use of hygienic pads is necessary as bleeding may occur after the operation.
A fiber-based diet is recommended to prevent constipation after surgery.
After the operation, the patient no longer menstruates and cannot become pregnant.
HOW LONG IS THE HEALING PROCESS AFTER VAGINAL HYSTERECTOMY?
Depending on the general health status, the recovery rate after vaginal hysterectomy varies between 3 and 6 weeks.
CAN GET PERMANENT RESULTS AFTER A VAGINAL HYSTERECTOMY?
The results of the surgery may differ from person to person. While some are completely cured of the symptoms they suffer from, some may be affected by the side effects of the surgery. Before the operation, it will be useful to share your medical history with your doctor in detail and to know all the personal risks.