New womb re­moval pro­ce­dure gives hope

The Independent on Saturday - - LIFESTYLE -

IT’S an in­va­sive op­er­a­tion that can rob women of their sex life. But a new keyhole pro­ce­dure for hys­terec­tomy means many may still be able to en­joy in­ti­macy.

The tech­nique in­volves en­cas­ing the womb in a bag be­fore it is re­moved.

This min­imises dam­age to sur­round­ing tis­sue, which can lead to long-term prob­lems with in­ter­course and in­con­ti­nence.

The pro­ce­dure slashes the risk of post-sur­gi­cal com­pli­ca­tions to just 2%, com­pared with up to 60% in some con­ven­tional tech­niques.

Each year more than 55 000 Bri­tish women have a hys­terec­tomy in­volv­ing com­plete re­moval of the womb.

Com­monly, the pro­ce­dure is com­pleted via a large cut into the stom­ach dur­ing ma­jor, open surgery. It in­volves a week-long hospi­tal stay with women un­able to drive, walk long dis­tances, ex­er­cise or have sex for months.

Many women now opt for keyhole pro­ce­dures at spe­cial­ist hos­pi­tals, which in­volve a smaller scar and much shorter re­cov­ery times.

The new pro­ce­dure has all the ben­e­fits of keyhole surgery, in­clud­ing a lower rate of in­fec­tion and faster re­cov­ery time.

It in­volves the womb be­ing con­tained in­side a sur­gi­cal bag which is in­flated around it in the ab­domen. The or­gan is then cut into small pieces.

The bag is de­flated and re­moved through an in­ci­sion in the ab­domen less than 2.5cm long, a 10th of the size of the in­ci­sion in an open hys­terec­tomy.

The pro­ce­dure is called in-bag mor­cel­la­tion. | The Mail on Sun­day

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