My doctor has recommended that I have a hysterectomy. What are my options?
Hysterectomy can be performed in several ways. Each patient and each case is unique. The surgery option that's best for you will depend on your own circumstances, and is a matter best discussed with a doctor.
Abdominal hysterectomy is done through a large incision on the abdomen. Some conditions, such as large growths and certain cancers, call for this approach even though it typically takes longer to recover from.
Vaginal hysterectomy, as the name suggests, is the removal of the uterus through the vagina. This can be performed entirely through the vaginal canal or the surgeon can make small incisions in the abdomen to insert the surgical instruments (called a laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy).
Laparoscopic hysterectomy is done via small incisions on the abdomen. The instruments are inserted and the uterus is removed, in sections, through these incisions.
Robot-assisted hysterectomy is like laparoscopic hysterectomy. However, rather than insert and use the instruments by hand, the doctor controls a robotic arm to perform the surgery. This may increase precision, decrease blood loss, lower risk, and shorten recovery time compared with non-surgical procedures.