What is a Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy?
A Laparoscopic Hysterectomy is the form of surgery that deals with the removal of the uterus and surrounding structures through small, abdominal incisions. There are three different types of hysterectomy classified on the basis of what each removes. A Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy involves removing only the upper portion of the uterus, leaving the cervix, uterosacral ligaments, and cardinal ligaments intact.
Like other forms of laparoscopic or keyhole surgery, this minimally invasive procedure results in less pain than open surgery. It also offers you a faster recovery time and causes minimal scarring.
When is a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy done?
There are several circumstances or conditions that may call for a Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy. These include cases of severe endometriosis, especially when the cervix is densely adhered to the rectum, and severe bladder adhesion, particularly if the cervix cannot be separated from the bladder. In some cases, this procedure is requested by women who need to undergo a hysterectomy but wish to preserve the cervix for its sexual function. It must be noted, however, that there is no scientific evidence that leaving the cervix intact benefits sexual function.
Since the process renders a woman infertile, this treatment is not ideal for you if you wish to conceive in the future. This is why, with the exception of cancer patients, a hysterectomy is only performed when more conservative treatment methods fail to treat a case.
How is a Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy performed?
Before the surgery, you may be asked to undergo special bowel preparation if Dr G suspects you have bowel scarring. This will include going on a liquid diet and consuming only items like clear soup, plain jelly, and clear juice. You will also be asked to take Magnesium Citrate and Bisacodyl – Dr G will discuss this with you in detail.
The team of specialists attending your case will include an anaesthetist who will place you under general anaesthesia before the procedure begins. After all routine preoperative measures have been taken care of, Dr G will make a small incision in your navel through which a scope can be passed. He will then make smaller incisions in your lower abdomen to allow for the introduction of additional medical devices. The procedure will not call for vaginal incisions.
With the laparoscope, Dr G will be able to separate the uterine body from surrounding ligaments and blood vessels. He will then proceed to detach it from the cervix. The actual uterine removal will occur through one of the incisions made on your lower abdomen with the help of specialised medical instruments.
The cervix will be left intact, thus providing the vagina and its surrounding structures with additional support. Since a Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy requires you to go under general anaesthesia, you will be required to stay in the hospital for the rest of the day – or even overnight. Recovery after this procedure typically takes between 10 to 14 days.
Does a Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy carry any risks?
Like all surgical techniques, a Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy isn’t completely risk-free. Complications include possible damage to the bowel, bladder, or ureter. However, these complications are very rare – a Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy is actually much safer than open surgery. Up to 15% women may still experience a monthly period (with a minimal flow). Since this procedure leaves your cervix intact, you will still need to do routine Pap smears.
If you have any concerns about your Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy, please discuss them with Dr G. Based on your medical history, current state of health, and the nature of your condition, he will be able to tell you what risks your individual case may incur – if any.