Hysterectomy is an operation that is done to remove a woman's uterus. There are many conditions of the uterus and ovary for which hysterectomy may be performed. It is a major surgery and is therefore considered only after all other treatment approaches have been unsuccessful.
Types of Hysterectomy
There are many types of hysterectomy. Depending on the disease for which hysterectomy is done the surgeon may choose to remove all or only part of the uterus. Your doctor will recommend the surgery you need based on many factors which includes your health history and the reason for your surgery. In some women the ovaries may also be removed with the uterus.
Surgical Techniques for Hysterectomy
Hysterectomy can be performed in different ways. The approach chosen will depend on your health history, the reason for your surgery and the surgeon’s experience.
Technique used for hysterectomy influences the healing time, and the kind of scar, that may remain after the surgery. The two approaches to hysterectomy include:
Abdominal hysterectomy: In this approach a 5- to 7-inch incision, or cut, is made in the lower part of your belly. The cut may be small or big, or may go either up and down (that is across your belly, or just above your pubic hair).
Vaginal hysterectomy: When hysterectomy is done through a cut in the vagina, it is known as vaginal hysterectomy. The doctor will take your uterus out through the incision in vagina. After removing the uterus, the top of vagina is closed with stitches.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy: In this procedure, an instrument with a thin, lighted tube and small camera (laparoscope) is inserted in the abdomen through tiny holes in the abdominal wall. It allows your doctor to see your pelvic organs. The uterus is cut into smaller pieces and removed through the incisions. Laparoscopic hysterectomy has many advantages which include smaller incision, shorter hospital stay, and less pain.
Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH): In LAVH procedure, the uterus is removed through the vagina using laparoscopic surgical tools.
Robotic-assisted surgery: A special sophisticated robotic system of surgical tools is used to do the surgery through small cuts in your abdomen. It is very similar to laparoscopic hysterectomy but the tools are more sophisticated.