Vaginal hysterectomy is a procedure where the uterus is removed through the vagina. The uterus is detached from the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and upper vagina. During the hysterectomy, before the uterus is removed, it is detached from the connective tissue and blood vessels that support it.

It is a simple procedure that involves faster recovery than the abdominal hysterectomy. However, this procedure cannot be done on everyone; it depends on the size and shape of your uterus. The process often includes the removal of the cervix and the uterus. In some cases, where the ovaries and the fallopian tubes are also removed, it is called a total hysterectomy.

The Apollo Cradle Kondapur has been handling hysterectomy for a long time. With our state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology, our team of experienced doctors and medical staff are able to provide the best treatment to our patients.

There are various reasons why one should undergo a vaginal hysterectomy including:

  1. Fibroids

People with benign tumors have to go through this procedure to get rid of anemia, persistent bleeding, bladder pressure, pain during intercourse and pelvic pain. If the fibroids are large, a vaginal hysterectomy might not work and uterus would be removed through an abdominal hysterectomy.

  1. Adenomyosis

In this condition, the tissue lining the uterus starts growing into the uterine wall resulting in painful and heavy periods.

  1. Endometriosis

This is a condition that occurs when the uterus lining starts growing outside the uterus involving fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other organs. In this case, abdominal hysterectomy is mostly preferred but sometimes vaginal hysterectomy is also considered.

  1. Gynecological cancer

A hysterectomy is recommended if you have cancer of the cervix, endometrium ovaries, or uterus. The most opted choice is the abdominal hysterectomy but for women with endometrial or cervical cancer, vaginal hysterectomy is considered appropriate.

  1. Uterine prolapsed

In this condition, the tissues and ligaments supporting the pelvic starts weakening or stretching out resulting in sagging of the uterus into the vagina, pelvic pressure, difficulty in bowel movements, and urine leakage.

  1. Abnormal uterine bleeding

If your irregular, long, and heavy periods aren’t controlled by any medication or less invasive surgical procedure, a hysterectomy might be an option for you.

  1. Chronic pelvic pain

If the pain is caused by a uterine condition, a hysterectomy might be your last resort. But, make sure that you get an accurate diagnosis of the cause before going through with the procedure.

Types

Depending on what is removed, the types of hysterectomy include:

  1. Total hysterectomy

In this, the entire uterus and cervix are removed. Cervix is a narrow passage at the lower end of the uterus that connects to the vagina.

  1. Radical hysterectomy

In this type, along with the uterus and cervix, the upper portion of the vagina and the ligaments attached to the uterus are also removed. In some cases, lymph nodes are taken out as well.

  1. Partial hysterectomy

In this type of hysterectomy, only the upper part of the uterus is removed. The cervix is not removed. Also known as subtotal or supracervical hysterectomy, this requires an abdominal incision.

How you prepare

Before the procedure

It is normal to feel nervous before such a procedure. To ease up your mind, this is what you can do before the procedure:

  1. Gather all the information that you can about the procedure. Ask your doctor and clear all your doubts beforehand. You want to be sure about everything before you undergo the procedure.
  2. If you have some other medications going on, find out if you should take them before the hysterectomy. These medications include over-the-counter medications, herbal preparations, and dietary supplements.
  3. You have to discuss the anesthesia. The general anesthesia will make you sleep. The regional anesthesia will block the sensation in the lower half of your body.
  4. Although the recovery after the procedure is fast, you still would want someone to take you home after the hysterectomy.

During the procedure

First, your bladder will be emptied using a urinary catheter. Next, your surgical area will be cleaned using a sterile solution. After this, the procedure will begin, which will include:

  1. Making an incision inside the vagina to get to the uterus.
  2. Clamping the uterine blood vessels using long instruments and separating the uterus from the connective tissues, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
  3. Removing the uterus through the vaginal opening. To control the bleeding inside the pelvis, absorbable stitches are used.

In case of suspected uterine cancer, the enlarged uterus is cut into smaller pieces and removed in sections.

After the procedure

After the procedure, you will have to stay in the recovery room for an hour or two and then the night in the hospital. Some women might recover fast and go home on the same day.  You might have to take some medications. It is perfectly normal to have bloody vaginal discharge for the next few days or weeks. You might have to wear sanitary napkins.

Results

After the procedure, your condition will be treated. Also, you won’t be able to get pregnant or would have periods. If your ovaries were removed, you will immediately begin menopause. This is accompanied by a few symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. If these symptoms get out of control, you can ask your doctor for some medications.

Recovery process

After the vaginal hysterectomy, for the first few weeks, you will have the following:

  1.    Mild pain
  2.    Discomfort in the lower belly
  3.    Bleeding that comes and goes
  4.    Bloating or constipation

Depending on their medical concerns and complications, some women prefer to stay in the hospital for a day or two. Others go home on the day of the procedure. Although the procedure is less invasive, it will take some time to get back to normal activities. You might need to limit your activities for a few weeks according to the instructions of your surgeon.

Here are some activities that might get affected:

  1.    Working

You will have to take some time off work after the procedure. For some women, it is about 2 to 3 weeks and for some others, it is about 6 weeks. It completely depends on how quickly you are recovering and what kind of job you have.

  1.    Driving

Driving is recommended after 2 to 3 weeks when you are not taking any medication that might cause sleepiness, are able to comfortably sit in the car and use the controls and are able to turn and twist their body in all directions.

  1.    Exercising

In the first few weeks, you should try light exercises like walking that will help in reducing the risk of blood clots and getting the bowels moving. Increase exercise time every day to increase energy levels and build up endurance. You will be able to get back to your normal workout routine after 4 to 6 weeks. However, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor before resuming strenuous exercises.

Things to avoid

  1.    Tampons, douching and sexual intercourse
  2.    Heavy lifting
  3.    Strenuous tasks
  4.    Swimming

What can you do for healthy recovery?

  1.    Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If you are feeling fatigued, take as much rest as you need and can.
  2.    You need to help your body increase energy levels and heal. You can do this by eating whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.
  3.    Eat high-fiber foods that might help ease constipation. If your bowel movements are still painful, you can increase your water intake or get a gentle laxative and stool softener.
  4.    Avoid smoking at all costs. It will affect the healing process making the recovery difficult. You can try nicotine replacements or smoking cessation plans from the doctor. You need to stop smoking before the surgery.
  5.    Regular follow-up visits are really important. You have to discuss the healing process with your doctor and get an answer to all your questions.