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Post Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy Scar: What To Expect

One concern for many women, especially younger women faced with a hysterectomy is whether they will have a scar and how visible the scar will be. The answer depends on the type of hysterectomy that is to be performed. There are surgical methods that leave no external scar, methods that leave small nearly unnoticeable scars and methods which leave a large and clearly visible scar.

The type of hysterectomy needed to correct your condition will determine the type of scar. Total or radical hysterectomies may have to be performed with an abdominal incision. The doctor may chose to make the incision horizontally along the inguinal fold at the pubic hairline or vertically from below the navel to the top of the pubis. The horizontal “bikini cut” leaves a barely noticeable scar because of its location. The vertical cut will leave a noticeable scar which may have a puckered appearance. The scars from abdominal hysterectomy are similar to the scars from caesarean section surgery.

The vaginal hysterectomy leaves no external scarring, because it is performed through the vagina. If the surgery is laparoscopically assisted, there may be a very small scar just below the navel. All the scarring from a vaginal hysterectomy is internal. There may be medical reasons why this surgery is not right for a particular patient. If your doctor insists on an abdominal hysterectomy, you should ask him what the medical reasons are for performing the more invasive surgery.

A laparoscopic hysterectomy is performed through a series of small incisions in the abdomen. The first incision is made just below the navel and a small camera is inserted into the abdominal cavity to allow the surgeon to view the surgical field. The doctor then makes addition small incisions through which special tiny instruments are used to remove the uterus in small segments through the incisions. The incisions are usually one to one and half inches long and leave little visible scarring.

Abdominal hysterectomies are most likely to be performed for the removal of cancerous tissue or for the treatment of endometriosis. If you doctor advises you that you are not a candidate for the less invasive surgical methods, you may ask him to explain his reasons. If your surgery is for removal of a malignancy, the surgeon will need a clear view of the surgical field which may only be possible with an abdominal hysterectomy. This is a surgery that involves a life threatening condition and a scar should be the least of your worries.

If your surgery is for a less serious condition, another method of surgery may be more appropriate than an abdominal hysterectomy. In the case of prolapsed uterus, vaginal hysterectomy is usually a better option, and a laproscopic supracervical hysterectomy offers the shortest recovery period where it is not contraindicated.

In older patients, the less invasive surgery is often preferred, because older patients often don't with stand surgery as well as younger patients, are more prone to post surgical complications and , as a rule, have a longer recovery period. Certainly the less invasive surgery offers benefits to patients of all ages if it is not contraindicated by the medical condition.


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