Understanding a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
You are having a hysterectomy. Your physician is recommending a technique called laparoscopy. This technique has many benefits. You may spend less time in the hospital and you may also recover faster.
What is a Hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy removes the uterus. Part or the entire uterus may be removed and certain other organs may be removed at the same time. Having your uterus removed means that you won’t be able to become pregnant in the future.
What is a Laparoscopy?
A laparoscopy is a type of surgery. A long, lighted tube with a camera called a laparoscope is used. The scope sends pictures of the inside of the body to a video screen. A few small incisions are made in the abdomen; the scope is inserted through one incision and surgical tools are inserted through the other.
Benefits of Laparoscopy
Because this procedure requires only small incisions, laparoscopy may:
- Require less time in the hospital or surgery center
- Offer a faster recovery
- Cause less internal scarring and smaller visible scars
- Cause less pain after surgery
- Have a lower risk of complications
Risks and Possible Complications of Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
- Side effects from anesthesia
- Bleeding, with a possible need for transfusion
- Blood clots
- Damage to the bladder, bowel, uterus, or nearby nerves
- Need for a second surgery
Types of Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Depending on your needs, all or part of the uterus may be removed. In some cases, the cervix, ovaries or fallopian tubes are also removed. Your surgeon will discuss the options with you before surgery.
A total hysterectomy means that the entire uterus is removed It may be removed through the vagina. Or it may be removed in pieces through small incisions in the abdomen.
Hysterectomy with Removal of Ovaries
In this procedure, the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed. The organs may be removed through the vagina or in pieces through small incisions in the abdomen.
Laparosopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH)
With this procedure, the top portion of the uterus is removed. The cervix is left in place and may be closed at the top. This procedure may be done if the cervix is healthy. The uterus is removed in pieces through small incisions in the abdomen.
When to Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following after surgery:
Bright red vaginal bleeding or vaginal bleeding that soaks more than one sanitary pad per hour
A fever of 100.4F or chills
Difficulty urinating or burning when you urinate
Severe abdominal pain or bloating
Redness, drainage or swelling at your incision sites
shortness of breath or chest pain
Foul-smelling vaginal discharge