If you and your doctor have decided the best treatment option for you is a hysterectomy, you have several options. Abdominal hysterectomy, vaginal hysterectomy and laparoscopic hysterectomy are all different surgical approaches, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Abdominal hysterectomy has traditionally been the most common type of hysterectomy. Your hospital stay is usually two to three days, recovery may take longer than other methods and there tends to be more post-op pain.
Vaginal hysterectomy has the advantage of a shorter hospital stay, typically less post-op pain and no incision on your abdomen. Unfortunately, women with a large uterus or multiple Cesarean sections may not be good candidates for this approach.
The use of laparoscopic hysterectomy has increased recently due to significant technological advances that allow the surgeon to remove the uterus through three tiny incisions. We are able to perform this surgery on women that have routine indications for surgery such as heavy bleeding. We are also able to use this technique on patients that have had multiple Cesarean sections and women with an enlarged uterus due to fibroids. We have been very happy with the results of this procedure. The hospital stay is only overnight, there is typically very little post-op pain and patients are able to return to normal activity much faster than with the traditional abdominal approach.
Urinary incontinence, or unexpected leakage of urine, is a very common complaint in our office. There are primarily three types of incontinence that we see -- urge, stress, and mixed.
Urge incontinence is unexpected leakage of urine preceded by a strong urge to urinate, which the patient is unable to control. This is very common and can be worsened by different medications, particularly some blood pressure medications. Certain bladder irritants ingested through a normal diet can also worsen urge symptoms. There are several medications that are highly effective in treating urge incontinence. Typically, surgery is not needed to correct urge incontinence.
Stress incontinence is leakage of urine that occurs when you laugh, cough, sneeze or is caused by any type of exertion. This type of incontinence can be helped with exercises called Kegel's that are designed to help strengthen the pelvic floor. If conservative treatment with pelvic floor exercises doesn't help, then surgery can usually cure this incontinence. Our preferred surgery is called tension-free vaginal Tape or TVT. This is a simple procedure that places a small piece of material beneath the urethra that provides support and restores continence. We have been performing this surgery for more than 17 years and have had great success with it. Recovery is usually only 2-3 days and there is minimal pain.
If you have any questions regarding your hysterectomy options or incontinence surgery, please call our office to discuss your options. (936) 569-0000