The side effects of surgery and birth control

A quick review of common surgeries that women  & children have. 

Hey mom! Last week we discussed tips about getting into the medical field with Dr. Rickesha Wilson. She is a prime example of the success that is attainable when you continue to preserve through all obstacles and focus on your end goals. If your child is looking to get into a medical career I highlight Dr. Wilson’s acknowledgement of how influential a strong family structure is to a child. Be that support and the example that pushes them towards a similar example of excellence. In this follow up interview Dr. Wilson discusses common surgical procedures that women may experience, the side effects, and the causes of needing such a procedure. 

  1. What is an ectopic pregnancy? An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs in a location outside of the uterus, such as in the fallopian tubes.  If you have an ectopic pregnancy, you may experience pain and this is a surgical emergency, where the abdomen must be explored in surgery. The organ containing the ectopic pregnancy must be partially or completely removed.
  2. Is it more efficient for men to get a vasectomy or for women to get their tubes tied? What are some of the side effects? This is a difficult but great question.  Both procedures can be reversed but the success rates are not 100% and depending on how the initial procedures are performed, infertility may be permanent.  This kind of decision should be made carefully and discussed in detail with your physician before proceeding. However, I can explain what both surgeries are and the side effects: A vasectomy is a highly effective form of birth control that can be reversed. It involved cutting or ligating the vas deferens, which is the tube that carries sperm. Although over 99% effective, it takes about 15-20 cycles of ejaculation before sperm is clear, so one should use protection until a tested sample of semen is clear of sperm. Other side effects of a vasectomy include infection, minor bleeding from the procedure, formation of a sperm collection called a granuloma that usually isn't painful and possibly reconnection of the vas deferens, causing a man to become fertile again. Side effects of a tubal ligation include bleeding and abdominal pain. This procedure is done laparoscopically and thus there is a risk of injury to nearby organs in the abdomen requiring a conversion to an open procedure with a bigger incision. Also, the tubes can also become reconnected and fertility restored. However, ectopic pregnancy is a risk, where a pregnancy happens outside of the uterus. This is a surgical emergency that must be addressed if it happens.
  3. What are some reasons women may need to have a C-section? What are the side effects? Can you birth natural in the future? A woman may need to have a caesarean section if a vaginal birth is taking too long to progress to a delivery, if the baby is not turned in the proper direction, if the baby is showing signs of danger during labor, or if the mother chooses this route.  The side effects include having an incision in the abdomen (usually across the lower abdomen, or bikini line) that may be painful and sore after C-section.  There is a risk of wound infection or break down, albeit low.  It is possible to have a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC), and this option should be discussed with a qualified physician. 
  4. What is a hysterectomy? What are common causes? Side effects? A hysterectomy refers to a procedure done to remove the uterus which be performed through the abdomen or vagina.  This procedure is done for bleeding, cancer, fibroids, and other reasons.  Depending on whether or not the ovaries are also taken, hormone replacement therapy may be needed.
  5. What are some common surgeries that you see performed on children? What is your advice to help prep for your child having surgery? Common surgeries on children include hernia repairs in the groin or the belly button, circumcisions, removal of skin lesions, insertion of feeding tubes, repair of chest wall deformities, and repair of birth defects affecting the heart, diaphragm, and intestines.  There are numerous surgeries that children undergo.  A great resource in many children’s hospitals is the support staff that are available on the day of surgery or the day of admission into the hospital to help calm kids with resources and games that take their focus off of the surgery. The support staff isinvaluable!
  6. Does anesthesia have a more dangerous affect on children vs. adults? What are the side effects? There are different anesthetic agents that are used for children vs adults and the doses for children are weight based.  There are well established and safe guidelines for anesthetic medications used in children and adults.
  7. What are some of the risk involved with getting breast enhancements, butt enhancements? Long term effects? The risks of cosmetic procedures in general and breast or gluteal enhancements include malfunction or misplacement of the implant resulting in a less than desired outcome, infection, bleeding and need for additional procedures.
  8. What are some of the risk involved with fat transfers? Long term effects? As with all procedures, risks include infection and the need to have additional procedures if the cosmetic outcome is not as desired.  It is important to discuss all risks with your doctor before proceeding.
  9. What are the side effects or risk of birth control, condoms, depo, etc.? No birth control is 100% with the exception of abstinence.  With this in mind, condoms carry a risk of breaking or dislodgment, progesterone or estrogen pills and injections are systemic forms of birth control meaning they affect the entire body.  Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix and deliver intrauterine hormone therapy for birth control.  These medications and birth control options should be reviewed with your doctor to determine what method is best for you and your lifestyle.  None are 100% effective in preventing pregnancy.

 

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