Hysterectomy Complications - Medical Negligence Solicitors – Compensation Claims

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Hysterectomy Complications

A hysterectomy is an operative procedure in which the female uterus is removed. Sometimes the uterus alone is removed and other times, the Fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed along with the uterus. Hysterectomies are common surgical procedures done on women with an estimated 300 out of every 100,000 women having a hysterectomy in their lives.

Women have hysterectomies for a number of reasons including:

  • Having uterine fibroids, non-malignant tumours of the uterine wall that can grow to become too large or can push on other pelvic organs.
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, which can be caused by many different things, both malignant and non-malignant.
  • Endometriosis, which results from uterine tissue passing out of the uterus into pelvic tissue.
  • Uterine prolapse, in which the uterus begins to fall out of the vagina due to poor pelvic musculature.
  • Uterine cancer. Only about 10 percent of hysterectomies are done for this reason.
  • Cervical dysplasia. This is a pre-cancerous condition of the cervix. The best treatment in many cases is to remove the entire uterus along with the cervix.

The most common reason for a hysterectomy is a uterine fibroid or uterine leiomyoma. These are growths that can occur on the outer wall of the uterus, the midportion of the uterine wall or the inner uterine lining. Those on the inner lining tend to bleed extensively and those on the outer wall tend to grow on a stalk and get very large. A hysterectomy is done if the uterine fibroid is very large or if the bleeding necessitates transfusions or causes anaemia.

Women who have weak muscles in their pelvic suffer from what’s known as pelvic relaxation. The uterus falls through the vagina due to gravity. This is an uncomfortable sensation and many women with the condition elect to have a hysterectomy. The problem can otherwise get so severe that the uterus itself is located outside the body. Muscle loosening can also cause a urethrocele, rectocele or a cystocele.

Hysterectomy Procedures

Historically speaking, hysterectomies were done through cutting the main incision through the abdominal wall. Called an abdominal hysterectomy, the access to the uterus and ovaries is excellent but the risk of infection and bleeding is greater than with a vaginal hysterectomy. The stay at the hospital and postoperative pain is increased in abdominal hysterectomy. It is more expensive to have an abdominal hysterectomy than it is to have a vaginal hysterectomy.

A vaginal hysterectomy is done when the incision is made up inside the vagina where the uterus connects. The procedure results in a lesser chance of infection and bleeding but an increased chance of accidentally cutting into another pelvic structure. If at all possible, a woman should try for a vaginal hysterectomy because this is a cheaper procedure that causes less pain than an abdominal hysterectomy.

One can have a laparoscopy-assisted vaginal hysterectomy. The uterus is ultimately removed through the uterus but a laparoscope is used with small vaginal incisions in order to improve visibility in the pelvic cavity. It is considered more expensive than a regular vaginal hysterectomy and has more complications. The anaesthesia time is greater than with a vaginal hysterectomy so there can be complications from that. Prior abdominal or pelvic surgery can make the procedure prohibitive because of possible scar tissue in the abdomen.

Some women have a supracervical hysterectomy. This is a surgery in which the uterus is removed but the cervix is left behind as a stump. This means that the chances of cervical cancer are still there. If you’ve had an abnormal cervical pap test, you should definitely not have a supracervical hysterectomy. It is a procedure that is sometimes performed because it is a cheaper test that takes less time to perform in the operating room. The pro of having this type of procedure is that decreases the complication of uterine prolapse.

Before a hysterectomy is performed, the doctor should perform a general physical exam, including a pap test, pelvic exam, complete blood count and ultrasound of the pelvis.

The complications of the various types of hysterectomy are pain, infection and post-operative bleeding. Abdominal hysterectomies carry a higher risk of complications.


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