Our Sexuality! Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 28

Radical hysterectomy involves removing the uterus, cervix, the tissue on both sides of the cervix, and the upper part of the vagina. A radical hysterectomy is most often used to treat certain types of cancer, such as cervical cancer.

Hysterectomy with oophorectomy and salpingoophorectomy. Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the ovary(s), while salpingoophorectomy is the removal of the ovary and the fallopian tubes. If the ovaries are not removed during the hysterectomy, a woman should not experience symptoms of menopause because the ovaries produce the hormone estrogen, which helps to manages symptoms of menopause. However, if both ovaries are removed during the hysterectomy, a woman will no longer have periods and may begin to immediately experience symptoms of menopause because hormone levels drop quickly without ovaries. In addition the symptoms may be more intense than with natural menopause.

There are also many different procedures used to perform a hysterectomy. Usually your physician will decide which procedure you are the best candidate for based on the following including but not limited too: reason for the hysterectomy, medical history, lifestyle, fitness level, job functionality, support system, etc. The different types of procedures include:

Abdominal hysterectomy. An abdominal hysterectomy is the most common type of hysterectomy. During this procedures, the doctor makes either a horizontal or vertical incision, in your lower abdomen, usually in the bikini area. The abdominal hysterectomy allows the whole abdomen and pelvis to be examined, which is an advantage in women with cancer or investigating growths of unclear cause. It also allow the physician easier access to remove the uterus and ovaries and fallopian tubes, if needed.

Vaginal hysterectomy. A vaginal hysterectomy involves removal of the uterus and the cervix, if necessary through a small incision at the top the vagina. If the cervix is not being removed, the incision is made around the cervix, which is then reattached when the surgery is finished. Women who have not had children may not have a large enough vaginal canal for this type of procedure.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy. A laparoscope is an instrument with a thin, lighted tube and a small camera that allows the physician to see the pelvic organs during the surgery. This special surgical tool is used to assist the physician in operating through small incisions in the abdomen and vagina. During a laparoscopic hysterectomy the uterus is removed through the small cuts made in either your abdomen or your vagina. Laparoscopy-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) is similar to the vaginal hysterectomy procedure described above, but it adds the use of a laparoscope. If a woman has such a history of prior surgery, or if she has a large pelvic mass, a regular abdominal hysterectomy might be considered.

Robotic-assisted hysterectomy. The robotic is a minimally invasive hysterectomy that involves the use of a robotic arm. The physician (s) use a computer to gently guide the surgical tools to remove the uterus, in tiny pieces, through small incisions in your lower abdomen. This technique is more accurate and precise utilizing the