A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Hysterectomies are performed for a wide variety of reasons. A hysterectomy is major surgery, but with new technological advances, the discomfort, risk of infection and recovery time has all been decreased.
There are currently three surgical approaches to hysterectomies:
- Open, traditional hysterectomy - This involves a six to twelve inch incision made in the abdominal wall.
- Vaginal hysterectomy - This involves removing the uterus through the vagina. This approach is less invasive than the open, traditional hysterectomy, but still does not allow the surgeon a full view of the surrounding organs, including the bladder.
- Robotic-assisted radical total laparoscopic hysterectomy - Using a state-of-the art robotic platform allows the surgeon a full view of the surrounding organs and more precise control over incisions.
- Laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy - A portion of the operation (intra-abdominal) is completed with the laparoscope and the remainder of the operation (vaginal incision, excision of cervical tissues) is completed transvaginally (through the vagina).
- Total laparoscopic hysterectomy - When the entire operation is performed using the laparoscope and the surgical specimen is removed via the vagina.
The type of hysterectomy performed and the technique used to perform the procedure will be determined by your physician, based upon your particular situation.