A Laproscopic hysterectomy is an operation performed to remove a woman's uterus. A woman may have a hysterectomy for different reasons, including:
- Uterine fibroids that can cause pain, bleeding, or other problems
- Uterine prolapse, which is a sliding of the uterus from its normal position into the vaginal canal
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Adenomyosis, or a thickening of the uterus
Hysterectomy for noncancerous reasons can be usually considered only after all other treatment approaches have been tried without success.
Surgical Techniques for Hysterectomy
Surgeons will use different approaches for hysterectomy, depending on the surgeon’s experience, the reason for the hysterectomy, and a woman's overall health. The Hysterectomy approach will partly determine healing time and the kind of scar, if any, that remains after the operation.
There are two approaches to surgery which includes:
- Traditional or open surgery and
- Surgery using a minimally invasive procedure or MIP.
Open Surgery Hysterectomy
An abdominal hysterectomy is an open surgery. Usually, this is the most common approach to hysterectomy, accounting for about 65% of all procedures. In order to perform an abdominal hysterectomy, a surgeon makes a 5 to 7 inch incision, either up-and-down or side-to-side, across the belly. The surgeon then removes the uterus through this incision.
After the abdominal hysterectomy, a woman will usually spend 2-3 days in the hospital. There is also, after healing, a visible scar at the location of the incision.
There are several approaches that can be used for an MIP hysterectomy:
Vaginal hysterectomy: The surgeon makes a incision in the vagina and removes the uterus through this cut. The incision is closed, leaving no visible scar.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy: This surgery is performed using a laparoscope, which is a tube with a lighted camera, and surgical tools inserted through several small incisions made in the belly or, in the case of a single site laparoscopic procedure, one small cut made in the belly button. The surgeon will perform the hysterectomy from outside the body, viewing the operation on a video screen.
Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy: Using laparoscopic surgical tools, a surgeon removes the uterus through a cut in the vagina.
Robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy: This procedure is similar to a laparoscopic hysterectomy, but the surgeon controls a sophisticated robotic system of surgical tools from outside the body.
Advanced technology enables the surgeon to use natural wrist movements and view the hysterectomy on a three-dimensional screen.