A vaginal hysterectomy is a procedure where an OB-GYN removes your uterus through your vagina. This type of hysterectomy is not as common as a traditional hysterectomy, but it offers numerous advantages. Here are some signs that you may want to talk with your OB-GYN about a vaginal hysterectomy.
You Have a Medical Condition That Necessitates a Hysterectomy
Doctors recommend hysterectomies as treatment for a number of different conditions. If you suffer from uterine prolapse, abnormal bleeding, or chronic pelvic pain, your doctor may recommend a vaginal hysterectomy. Typically, with pelvic pain, a hysterectomy should be used as a last resort.
Hysterectomies can also help with fibroids (benign tumors) in your uterus and endometriosis. Endometriosis is when the tissue in your uterus starts growing outside your uterus. The tissue may cover your ovaries and fallopian tubes as well as other organs.
However, with these conditions, a vaginal hysterectomy is only an option sometimes. You may need to have an abdominal hysterectomy depending on the situation.
You Don't Want a Visible Scar
With an abdominal hysterectomy, the surgeon makes an incision across your abdomen that typically leaves a scar. However, with a vaginal hysterectomy, the only incision is in the vagina. That is not apparent to anyone after the procedure.
You Don't Want a Hospital Stay
A vaginal hysterectomy is an outpatient procedure. When you opt for this type of procedure, you can get back to your regular life a lot sooner. You don't even have to go under general anesthesia. A local anesthesia works perfectly.
On average the majority of woman can be discharged about 276 minutes after a vaginal hysterectomy, or just over four hours of recovery time in the surgical facility. Note that if you have any serious complications, you will need to stay for more observation. For instance, profuse bleeding is considered a complication that would need observation.
In contrast, an abdominal hysterectomy is an open surgery. You have to go to the hospital, and usually, the procedure requires you to stay in the hospital for two or three days. To accommodate your surgery, you may need to arrange babysitters, take time off from work, and make other adjustments to your schedule.
You Want a Relatively Fast Recovery
In most cases, the recovery time for a vaginal hysterectomy is much shorter than the recovery time for an abdominal hysterectomy. Typically, you can recover from a vaginal hysterectomy in less than a month. With an abdominal hysterectomy, the recovery time tends to be a month to a month in a half.
While most of the recovery with a vaginal hysterectomy takes three to four weeks, you should avoid intercourse for at least six weeks after the procedure. Additionally, you should avoid lifting anything heavy until you have been cleared by your OB-GYN. If you have babies or young children in your home, you may want to get additional help during that time.
Your OB-GYN Says You Are a Good Candidate
In a lot of cases, you can choose whether to have a vaginal or an abdominal hysterectomy. However, some of the decision is also up to your OB-GYN. In most cases, you have to meet certain criteria in order to be a good candidate for a vaginal hysterectomy.
If you have scar tissue from previous surgeries, if you struggle with obesity, or if you have other health issues, your OB-GYN may advise against this procedure.
If you want to learn more, contact Jack G. Faup M.D. today. We offer vaginal hysterectomies as well as a variety of other services for women. Contact us to learn more about the best way to care for your body.