Many women suffer from a condition known as Menorrhagia (excessive menstrual flow). For some women this condition can be debilitating and affect the quality of their lives.
Approximately 1 in 5 women who experience this problem may:
- Change their pad and /or tampon every 1-3 hours for the heaviest days
- Use both a pad and tampon
- Get up at night to change their protection
- Develop iron deficiency anemia
Most women who develop menorrhagia will experience heavy bleeding due to hormone imbalance seen commonly in the 35-50 age range. Fibroids and polyps (both of which are benign) can also cause menorrhagia.
Treatment Options **
Treatment for menorrhagia includes medications such as birth control pills or other hormones. Surgical options are also available. The providers at Dover Women’s Health can discuss the options which are best suited for your medical condition
Some of your options include:
A progesterone containing intrauterine device (IUD) called Mirena® can be used to treat menorrhagia. Typically Mirena will decrease menstrual blood flow by 90 % over time.
Dover Women’s Health offers a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed to treat heavy periods. It is performed in the comfort of our office and most woman can return to their normal activity level by the next day. The shedding of the uterine lining each month causes menstrual bleeding. This procedure destroys the uterine lining using either heat or freezing temperatures. These methods will reduce heavy bleeding in 85-90% of women. Some women will stop having periods. This procedure is only for women who no longer intend to become pregnant.
Ablation can be an effective alternative to hysterectomy.
Physicians perform hysterectomy – the surgical removal of the uterus – to treat a wide variety of uterine conditions. Each year in the U.S. alone, doctors perform approximately 600,000 hysterectomies, making it the second most common surgical procedure.1
Types of Hysterectomy
There are various types of hysterectomy that are performed depending on the patient’s diagnosis:
- Supracervical hysterectomy – removes the uterus, leaves cervix intact
- Total hysterectomy – removes the uterus and cervix
- Radical hysterectomy or modified radical hysterectomy – a more extensive surgery for gynecologic cancer that includes removing the uterus and cervix and may also remove part of the vagina, fallopian tubes, ovaries and lymph nodes in order to stage the cancer (determine how far it has spread).
Approaches to Hysterectomy**
Surgeons perform the majority of hysterectomies using an “open” approach, which is through a large abdominal incision. An open approach to the hysterectomy procedure requires a 6-12 inch incision. When cancer is involved, the conventional treatment has always been open surgery using a large abdominal incision, in order to see and, if necessary, remove related structures like the cervix or the ovaries.
A second approach to hysterectomy, vaginal hysterectomy, involves removal of the uterus through the vagina, without any external incision or subsequent scarring. Surgeons most often use this minimally invasive approach if the patient’s condition is benign (non-cancerous), when the uterus is normal size and the condition is limited to the uterus.
In laparoscopic hysterectomy, the uterus is removed either vaginally or through small incisions made in the abdomen. The surgeon can see the target anatomy on a standard 2D video monitor thanks to a miniaturized camera, inserted into the abdomen through the small incisions. A laparoscopic approach offers surgeons better visualization of affected structures than either vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy alone.
There is an another minimally invasive alternative to both open surgery and laparoscopy. It is the da Vinci® Surgical System.
For more information click here Robotic Surgery
1. Center for Disease Control. Keshavarz H, Hillis S, Kieke B, Marchbanks P. Hysterectomy Surveillance — United States, 1994–1999. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Surveillance Summaries. July 12, 2002. Vol. 51 / SS-5. Page 1. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/ss/ss5105.pdf
Harmanli OH, Khilnani R, Dandolu V, Chatwani AJ. Narrow pubic arch and increased risk of failure for vaginal hysterectomy. Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Oct;104(4):697-700.
Paparella P, Sizzi O, Rossetti A, De Benedittis F, Paparella R. Vaginal hysterectomy in generally considered contraindications to vaginal surgery. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2004 Sep;270(2):104-9. Epub 2003 Jul 10.
Johnson N, Barlow D, Lethaby A, Tavender E, Curr L, Garry R. Methods of hysterectomy: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2005 Jun 25;330(7506):1478. Review.
While clinical studies support the effectiveness of the da Vinci® System when used in minimally invasive surgery, individual results may vary. Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.
For additional information on minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System visit www.davincisurgery.com