You probably have a million questions before your scheduled hysterectomy, but don’t worry: we’re here to educate you on what to expect from your procedure and what you should be doing to prepare yourself. Dr. Charles A. Lively at Lively Wellness & Aesthetics in Odessa, TX is an expert on hysterectomies and wants yours to be as smooth and painless as possible.
Methods of Hysterectomy
There isn’t just one way to get a hysterectomy. Your particular case depends on your needs, so we’ll help you figure out what’s right for you. But rest assured: all methods are safe.
In the case of a vaginal hysterectomy, no incision will be made anywhere on your stomach. The process takes place entirely within the vaginal area and still involves the complete removal of the uterus and cervix.
With an abdominal hysterectomy, a small incision is made in your stomach area. The incision isn’t any bigger than 20cm and is either along your bikini line or below the naval, cutting vertically down to your bikini line. When thinking about this procedure, you’ve probably heard of this technique. It is definitely the most common type.
In terms of incisions, consider the laparoscopic-assisted hysterectomy minimally invasive. Instead of leaving a minor, yet visible scar across your lower abdomen, this process leaves little to no scar whatsoever. The incisions that are made are just the 5mm that allow for small instruments to be inserted into the abdomen. Even then, the incisions can simply be hidden, as we can make an insertion in the belly button. Once inserted, the uterus can be snipped and then promptly removed from below. It’s as easy as that.
Just like the laparoscopic hysterectomy, the robotic-assisted procedure involves only several small incisions, about 8mm in length, that allow tools to be inserted. One of these tools is a very small robotic arm, which gives the doctor an up-close and personal, three-dimensional view of what’s going on down there, meaning any problems not detected by other surgical tools can quickly be identified. The doctor can then more easily adapt to your specific situation.
In the rare event that cancer is present, extra steps might need to be taken. In this case, you will likely be referred to a gynecological cancer specialist for special treatment.
Some Things to Know Before Your Procedure
How Long Will Recovery Take?
Let’s say you had a standard abdominal hysterectomy: you may be looking at a three-day stay in the hospital, and possibly even less. The idea is to keep an eye on you and make sure everything stays in tip-top shape and no infections form. For less invasive procedures, expect to stay overnight at least. Beyond that, your doctor may or may not recommend gentle workouts to get your strength back, but definitely nothing heavy. You may run into the risk of injury if you go too quickly, so take it easy! All in all, recovery depends entirely on you and what your doctor tells you.
What Preoperative Tests Are Needed?
Before your surgery, there will be several non-invasive tests that must be conducted. This may include X-rays, EKG, and/or blood tests. If we ask to perform these tests, there is nothing to be concerned about. This is standard procedure and ensures we conduct the procedure with all the information possible.
We may also ask about your medical history or any medications that you may be taken. In some cases, we’ll guide you with how and when to take those meds when approaching your surgery. We’ll make sure that the medicine you’re taking won’t cause your blood to thin or interfere with the procedure in any way. If you have any questions about the medication before your preoperative test, give us a call.
Changes in Sex Life
Your doctor will probably tell you that you should abstain from sex for six weeks following your visit to the doctor. What many women worry about, however, are the long-term effects that a hysterectomy may present. These concerns are based around fears that sex may feel different or that their partner might not think they’re attractive anymore. It’s important to note that your sex life probably won’t change after the procedure is done. Once you recover, everything should return back to normal.
Post Surgery Sanitary Pads
You will likely be advised to wear special sanitary pads, as instances of minor spotting are typical after this procedure. This will keep your clothes clean and dry, but note that wearing tampons is typically not recommended. Everybody is different, though, so consult with us before making any sort of decisions. We’ll make sure you’re taken care of and that your mind is at ease.
Let Dr. Charles A. Lively Guide You Through the Process
If you’d like more information on hysterectomies or have any questions we didn’t answer in this article, please schedule a consultation with Lively Wellness & Aesthetics at our Odessa, TX location. We’re more than happy to speak with you, so call for a consultation today!