Removing the uterus is referred to as a hysterectomy, with many different variations on this procedure. One of the most effective options is the minimally invasive hysterectomy, which involves using laparoscopic medical equipment instead of open surgery. While a laparoscopic hysterectomy does have fewer risks and a quicker recovery time than more invasive surgical techniques, there is still a need for healing and after effects to consider when undergoing this procedure.
What Is a Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy?
Although a hysterectomy is removing the uterus, it also may include removal of the cervix. If possible, the ovaries are left intact, to avoid the need to take hormones. While a traditional hysterectomy requires a large incision through the abdomen, the minimally invasive hysterectomy uses small cameras and medical tools that can perform the procedure through tiny incisions. The operation uses laparoscopic equipment that is designed to enter the uterine area through a small incision in the navel area or through the vagina, detaching and removing the uterus.
Traditional hysterectomies usually require a hospital stay for a few days. With a minimally invasive hysterectomy, the procedure is generally out-patient, meaning the patient can go home the same day. There is less risk of excessive blood loss or infection with laparoscopic hysterectomies than open hysterectomies.
Recovery from a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
While open hysterectomy requires a hospital stay and up to six weeks recovery time, the downtime from a laparoscopic hysterectomy is much shorter. After returning home, rest is recommended, but it is not necessary to stay bedridden. In fact, getting up and returning to normal activities much more quickly is expected and encouraged. This will help the patient heal quicker and have less chance of complications, as long as they do not overtax their bodies.
Most women recover from a minimally invasive hysterectomy within one to two weeks. There is some discomfort to be expected in the days following the surgery, which can be managed via pain medications. There may be some bleeding or spotting after the procedure, but this usually slows or stops within a few weeks. Those who work can usually resume their jobs after one or two weeks of recovery; those with physically demanding jobs may need to wait up to three weeks to return to work.
Life After a Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy
Once a patient heals from the initial surgery, life can go back to normal after a minimally invasive hysterectomy. Sexual intercourse can resume in about six weeks, and the surgery should not affect arousal or other enjoyment factors of intimacy. A hysterectomy is often recommended to combat excessive bleeding or fibroid issues due to problems in the uterus; once the uterus is removed, uterine-related bleeding and pain should subside. This can result in a higher quality of life for the patient.
At Cypress Women’s Center, we offer minimally invasive hysterectomy and other procedures to treat reproductive issues. Our experienced medical team can help you determine the best options to ensure your reproductive and overall good health. If you are interested in learning more about laparoscopic hysterectomy options or any of our other services, call our office in Cypress to schedule a consultation.