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Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

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The human uterus is a pear-shaped organ that hangs forward over the top of a woman's bladder. It is about the size of a small, feminine fist, or smaller if the uterus belongs to a woman who has never born children. For whatever reason, you may eventually have a hysterectomy. When you do, you can opt for a laparoscopic hysterectomy. In this almost magic trick-type of surgery, your uterus is cut free of your cervix and vagina and removed from an incision that is barely an inch long. Similar to a camel going through the eye of a needle, here is how this common procedure is performed.

After Your Abdomen is Prepped and You Are Unconscious

Whether your laparoscopic procedure is performed "manually" or robotically-assisted, incisions are made in your lower abdomen near your belly button. One laparoscopic arm with a light and one with a camera are inserted through two of the incisions. A third arm is inserted through another incision, and through this one your surgeon will use a laser or surgical tool to hold onto the uterus and cut it free. A fourth and possibly a fifth laparoscopic arm may be inserted through other incisions near by so that the surgeon can use additional surgical tools at the same time as the laser or scalpel, camera, and light.

Cutting Your Uterus Loose

Your surgeon then uses the tools inserted through the laparoscopic arms to seek out the ligaments that hold your uterus in place. He or she cuts those ligaments and ties them off. The same is done with any blood vessels that flow to your uterus so that there is not an excessive amount of internal bleeding when your uterus is cut loose from the top of your vagina. Finally, your surgeon will cut the uterus from your cervix and vagina (unless your cervix is badly damaged or showing signs of disease, which means it will be removed as well). The cervix and vagina is surgically closed at the top so that you can continue to enjoy sex without fear of sperm going inside your abdominal cavity.

Pulling Your Uterus out of the Incision

At this point, your surgeon may either dissect your uterus internally and pull the pieces out of your largest incision, or he/she will attempt to squeeze and pull the entire uterus out in one piece. It depends on how much larger your uterus is than its pre-maternal state. Once the entire uterus is out, your surgeon will remove all of the laparoscopic arms. He or she may place a stitch or two in each incision, but often these incisions are left to seal themselves. You will need to wear a girdle made of bandages to support the wounds and encourage healthy drainage for the next week or two until your body has healed.

For more information, talk to a professional like Western Branch Center for Women.