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Surgical Procedures

Hysterectomy

This is a surgery in which the uterus is removed. If you are told you need to have a hysterectomy there are multiple ways in which it can be accomplished. Usually a hysterectomy means your uterus and cervix will be removed unless otherwise told. This does not address your fallopian tubes or ovaries, so before your surgery make sure you have a discussion with your provider as to whether or not your fallopian tubes and ovaries will be removed as well. Surgical options include vaginal hysterectomy, total laparoscopic hysterectomy, supracervical laparoscopic hysterectomy, laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy, and abdominal hysterectomy. Hysterectomies are performed for a multitude of reasons that include: heavy bleeding (menorrhagia), painful periods (dysmenorrhea), fibroids (benign muscle tumors), pelvic organ prolapse, endometriosis, etc. If you are wondering if your medical symptoms would require a hysterectomy, contact your provider.

Total Vaginal Hysterectomy

This surgical method is the least invasive of all hysterectomies. With this procedure your uterus and cervix are removed through the vagina. You will only have an incision at top of the vagina (internal). If you are having your ovaries removed that can be accomplished at the same time. You stay overnight in the hospital and will go home the next morning. Typically you will need 2-4 weeks off of work depending on your job, but you should be able to return to your normal daily activities in 2 weeks or so.

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

Laparoscopic hysterectomy typically involves 3 small incisions in the abdomen in addition to the incision at the top of the vagina. The surgery is performed using a camera and laparoscopic instruments. The uterus and cervix are removed through the vagina. This is often done in cases where a vaginal hysterectomy is not ideal. Ovaries and fallopian tubes can also be evaluated and removed if needed/desired. Laparoscopy is a good option for patients undergoing surgery for pelvic pain, endometriosis, and small ovarian cysts.

Total Abdominal Hysterectomy

This method of surgery requires a larger abdominal incision that is either just above your pubic bone, like a c-section incision, or a vertical (up and down) incision. This type of procedure is reserved for patients who, for a variety of reasons, cannot have a laparoscopic or vaginal hysterectomy. Reasons for a large abdominal incision can include large fibroids, endometriosis, large ovarian masses, and extensive previous abdominal or pelvic surgery. The typical hospital stay is 2-4 days after and generally requires 4-6 weeks off of work for recovery.

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