What is a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy?
A laparoscopic hysterectomy is a minimally invasive procedure in which the uterus is removed through key hole surgery. There are two main hysterectomy modalities: partial hysterectomy, in which only your uterus will be removed, and total hysterectomy, which involves the extraction of your uterus plus your cervix. If ovaries need to be removed they can be done at the same time.
Why Will You Need a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy?
There are multiple reasons to perform a hysterectomy, some of the most common conditions include:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Uterine prolapse
- Severe uterine fibroids
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovary
What Does a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Involve?
Before the Procedure
Before your surgery, your doctor will explain to you the reasons and the steps of your surgical procedure. It’s important to mention here if you have any other condition or take any medication. Your doctor will ask you to stop drinking or eating anything at least 8 hours before the procedure.
During the Procedure
The laparoscopic technique has notable benefits over open surgery when it comes to hysterectomy, including a less invasive procedure, shorter recovery time and less pain. After a general anesthetic, your doctor will make 3-5 small incisions in your abdomen and introduce the laparoscopy instruments. Then, your doctor will cut the uterus and seal all the blood vessels and ligaments that used to be attached to it. Finally, your skin incisions will be closed back again. The entire procedure usually takes about 2 hours and you will be closely monitored all the time. The uterus can be delivered outside either through the vagina or after morcellation through the laparoscopy ports.
After the Procedure
Usually, staying in the hospital at least one night after the procedure is required. At home, you might feel some discomfort in your lower abdomen and some vaginal spotting, which are normal. Returning to your job and regular activities will be possible after at least 2 weeks.
Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Possible Risks and Complications
Although laparoscopic hysterectomy is a safe procedure with minimal complications and risk rate, like virtually all surgeries, has some risks, including:
- Excessive blood loss.
- Adverse reaction to the anesthetic
- Creation of blood clots in the legs and lungs
- Local infection