Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which the uterus and cervix are removed using laparoscopic surgery. In some cases, ovaries and fallopian tubes may also be removed. However, removal of ovaries may result in the start of menopause. Very often this procedure is combined with other surgeries like removal of pelvic lymph nodes or repair of prolapse.
There are different ways in which a hysterectomy can be carried out including abdominally, vaginally, or laparoscopically or a combination of these. The Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy is a procedure for which the recovery period is low, pain is reduced, and you experience less discomfort. However, there might be some complications like Urinary Tract injury.
At the Apollo Cradle, Motinagar, we have the top of the line doctors and staff that have years of experience dealing with hysterectomies. With our state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure, we are able to provide the best care to our patients at an affordable price.
Why am I having a TLH?
Following are the reasons for which one should get TLH surgery:
- Pelvic pain
- Heavy periods
- Easy stage cervical cancer
Before the surgery, make sure your doctor knows about the usual medications that you are taking. Also, you should stop smoking before surgery.
Before the surgery
Before you get the total laparoscopic hysterectomy, you need to be fit and healthy. This will reduce the risk of complications and increase the speed of the recovery.
What you can do is:
- eat a healthy, balanced diet,
- lose weight
- stop smoking
- exercise regularly
Make a pre-assessment appointment to consult your doctor if you are ready for the operation or not. You might have to undergo through a general health checkup and some blood tests to determine if you are ready for the surgery or not. Also, discuss all the questions and concerns you have regarding the procedure.
Please mention if you have had any complications during previous surgeries, or have any allergies. This is the time to discuss what to expect before, during or after the procedure. Your doctor will also explain your recovery process.
In these cases, you will be asked to sign a consent form that will be giving your gynecologist the right to perform the surgery written on this form. The only exception to this is if there is an unforeseen problem during the procedure.
Day of surgery
- The first step is to administer the general anesthesia for the procedure.
- Next, a narrow plastic tube named cannula will be inserted into tour vein using a needle. This is done to give medications and fluids.
- Once you are asleep, a catheter will be inserted into your bladder for urine drainage.
- A small incision of about 2 cm will be made under your belly button.
- Gas will be filled inside your abdomen to create space.
- Next, an optical instrument named a laparoscope will be inserted through the incision to view the internal organs.
- After this, 3 more small cuts of 1 cm length will be made on the abdomen for other surgical instruments to be inserted.
- Depending on the reason for the surgery, your ovaries and fallopian tubes may or may not be removed.
- In many cases, cervix and uterus are removed through the vagina. But if the vagina is too narrow or the uterus is too big to pass through the vagina, a slightly larger cut is made on the abdomen and the uterus is taken out.
- Dissolvable stitches are used to close the wound.
- The whole procedure will take about 1 to 2 hours and you will be kept in the recovery for 3 to 4 hours.
After the surgery
After you wake up, you will be given pain medications. You will also feel some discomfort. After the total laparoscopic hysterectomy, your periods will stop. Sometimes, you will feel some symptoms similar to when you were on a menstrual cycle like feeling bloated. For 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure, there might be some light vaginal bleeding or dark brown discharge.
You will feel a bit discomforted around the wound site for a couple of weeks. All the bruising, redness and swelling will also disappear in 4 to 6 weeks. It is normal to feel itching or burning at the incision site. You might also get a numb feeling down your led and around the incision. This is normal and can last up to 2 months.
If your ovaries were not removed, you won’t have any issues related to the hormones. Some women feel depressed and get a sense of loss. You need to remember that this procedure was done to better their health and wellbeing and in some cases was a life-saving operation.
Your recovery process begins as soon as you reach home. Here are some things that you should know about recovering from a total laparoscopic hysterectomy:
- You can resume your normal diet.
- Ask your doctor if you can take a bath or shower. If dissolvable stitches are used, you can wash the incision with mild soap and water. These stitches will dissolve in about 6 weeks. If staples are used, then you need to keep them dry for at least 48 hours and then get them removed.
- Use creams and lotions on the area surrounding the incision to relieve yourself of itching.
- Slowly increase your activity. Make sure that you are not in pain and are feeling capable. Within 4 to 6 weeks you will be able to resume all your normal activities. Since this was a laparoscopic treatment, you might be able to get back to your normal day-to-day activities sooner.
- Drive only after you no longer require pain medications and are feeling capable. This is usually about 2 weeks after the surgery.
- You will be allowed to travel out of town after 3 weeks of surgery.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects for at least 4 weeks after the procedure.
- Do not indulge yourself in douching or put anything else in your vagina for four weeks.
- You will be able to have sexual intercourse after six weeks of surgery. But consult your doctor first regarding this because depending on your condition, this time period might change.
- You can participate in light swimming 2 weeks after the procedure and vigorous swimming 4 weeks after the procedure.
- Depending on how you feel, you can continue your exercise routine in 4 to 6 weeks.
- Your doctor will decide when it is best for you to get back to work. Depending on the procedure, this can take up to 3 to 6 weeks.