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Hysterectomy is a common surgical procedure that removes the uterus. More than 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year in the United States to treat a variety of gynecologic conditions including:
While hysterectomy is a major surgery, the majority of the time the uterus can be removed laparoscopically with small dime-sized incisions in the lower stomach. The procedure is often outpatient or a one-night stay in the hospital. Patients can typically return to normal activities in 2-4 weeks.
Vaginal hysterectomies are most commonly performed when the patient has symptoms of prolapse or bulging of the uterus into or outside the vagina. With this procedure only incision is made inside the vagina. Patients typically stay one night in the hospital. Patients can return to normal activity in 4-6 weeks.
Sometimes the uterus is too large or there is too much scar tissue to remove the uterus laparoscopically or vaginally. In this case, a larger, 6-8 cm cut in the lower stomach is required. Patients may stay 2-3 nights in the hospital. They can return to normal activities in 6 weeks.
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