There are many different types of hysterectomies. A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. This can be performed vaginally, abdominally, or even laparoscopically. Hysterectomies are performed for a number of reasons if other treatment options have been unsuccessful. Hysterectomies should be discussed in detail with your provider.
With hysterectomies, the uterus can be removed using any of the following methods:
- A small incision, about two inches long, just at or above the pubic hairline. This method is sometimes referred to as a mini-laparotomy or “mini-lap”
- An incision in the vagina
- A large incision made in the lower abdomen
- A procedure called laparoscopy
Laparoscopy is the least invasive of all the methods listed. A laparoscope, a small surgical viewing instrument, is inserted through a small incision to gauge the size and position of the uterus. When combined with surgery, it can remove the uterus through an incision in the abdomen (laparoscopic assisted hysterectomy) or vagina (laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy).
The ovaries can be removed at this time as well. The decision to remove or leave the ovaries is based on what is best for you and your health, which your physician will help you determine.