February 26, 2008

Vaginal Hysterectomy Procedure, Recovery, and It’s Side Effects

Posted in Category : Women's Health

Many people are unaware as to what is hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus. It may imply total or partial removal of the uterus which means that when the body, fundus and the uterine cervix is removed it is called a total hysterectomy and if only the uterus is removed keeping the cervix intact, it is called a partial hysterectomy. Curing uterine fibroids with hysterectomy is the only way to get rid of large fibroids in a woman’s body. This surgery is also an option if a woman experiences heavy bleeding, is menopausal or nearing menopause or if she doesn’t want to have children. Hysterectomy can be a laparoscopic, vaginal or abdominal procedure and even presents an option of removing the cervix and ovaries during surgery. Just like any other surgery it is common to experience post hysterectomy side effects. Hysterectomy results into persistent nausea and vomiting sometimes that generally occurs after surgery. So to reduce such physical discomforts, the patient is administered with Intravenous fluids during the first day. Generally, after the surgery, it is better to give food and fluid as early as possible.

To reduce the surgery pain, the medicines are administered through intramuscular injection or pill. It is recommended that after the hysterectomy, the patient should go through her daily routine to get rid of the hysterectomy results in the form of side effects like blood clots, pneumonia, and gas pains. Some of the common hysterectomy side effects after surgery include fatigue, hot flashes, insomnia, depression, mood swings, anxiety, headaches, weight gain, urinary problems, palpitations, vaginal dryness, heart disease, joint pain, low sex drive, hair loss and Osteoporosis. Women who undergo hysterectomy are also at an increased risk to heart diseases and arthritis. Some women even experience a surgery induced menopause due to hormonal imbalances in the body. In other cases even if the ovaries have not been removed, blood supply to the ovaries reduces and the ovaries stop functioning within 1-3 years post surgery. On the other hand hysterectomy side effects after menopause are comparatively easier to deal with as no drastic changes take place in the body. Since the uterus has stopped functioning completely in the menopausal stage, there are hardly any side effects experienced by women when they reach the stage of menopause. However, side effects can vary depending on factors like age, mental strength and overall health. It is advisable for women to consult their doctor if they experience hysterectomy side effects after menopause. Emotional changes are more common in younger women and in such cases doctors generally recommend hormone replacement therapy after hysterectomy. Progesterone, estrogen and testosterone are the choice of hormones after a hysterectomy procedure. Another one of the hysterectomy side effects is weight gain. This kind of weight gain after hysterectomy can be dealt with by increasing level of physical activity, cardiovascular exercises and a low calorie diet.

To be protected from the complications of the hysterectomy results, the patient is advised to walk and go through stair climbing. The patient is advised to strictly prohibit the tub baths, showers and driving activity. Even though hysterectomy side effects and weight loss are not always easy to deal with, meditation and introspection can help you achieve your goals faster than you can imagine. Hysterectomy side effects like hair loss, fatigue and hot flashes are all linked to hormonal changes in the body after the surgery. Estrogen imbalances cause hair loss in women who undergo this procedure. Hot flashes can be very irritating and annoying for most women and fatigue after surgery has a long lasting effect in most cases. These psychological changes are only attributed to hormonal fluctuations in the woman’s body. One of the hysterectomy side effects is bladder damage which can occur during the surgery itself. This damage can affect the nerves which supply blood to the bladder and can be the result of injury from a surgical tool. Bladder damage can cause urinary incontinence and even difficulty in urination. Further surgery may be required to rectify this problem. Pain after hysterectomy could be the result of a prolapsed fallopian tube. A prolapsed tube causes more pain than bleeding and may need to be surgically removed under the influence of anesthesia. If the hysterectomy has been done vaginally, recovery would depend on factors like reason for the surgery, complications during the surgery and the overall health of the patient at the time of surgery. There are important vaginal hysterectomy recovery guidelines that need to be followed to ensure a quick and healthy recovery. After the procedure food and fluids are usually given to the patient through an intravenous catheter. Depending on the pain experienced by the patient, painkillers may be given either orally, through injections or intravenously. Lifting heavy loads and physical exercises are strictly forbidden after a vaginal hysterectomy. It is also very important for the patient to maintain a healthy diet and take the prescribed multivitamins.

Apart from these regular complications after the surgery, the hysterectomy results are mostly satisfactory. After a vaginal hysterectomy procedure, women should avoid using tampons or indulging in sex till the recovery is complete. Failing to do this might damage or infect the healing tissues. A vaginal hysterectomy can also cause depression in some women and leave them feeling incomplete. Such patients should be given immediate counseling as this can directly impact the recovery process. It is important for women to watch out for symptoms like nausea, abdominal, pelvic or back pain and excessive vaginal bleeding which could be some of the other post hysterectomy problems. Therefore it is very important to discuss the pros and cons of hysterectomy with your doctor before the actual surgery takes place.