What Is a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy?
Laparoscopic hysterectomy is a minimally invasive way to remove the uterus. It is performed to treat a variety of gynecologic conditions, the most prominent being gynecologic cancer.
Historically, hysterectomy was done as an open procedure, meaning that the surgeon created a large incision to perform the surgery. Often, this is no longer necessary; specialized modern tools allow doctors to make only tiny incisions and perform the surgery through these small cuts. This minimally invasive method, called laparoscopic surgery, typically cuts down on pain, blood loss, recovery time, hospital stay, and risk.
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.
There are a few types of hysterectomy.
- In subtotal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed but the cervix is left in place.
- In total hysterectomy, the cervix is also removed.
- At the same time as a hysterectomy, the ovaries are also removed in a procedure called oophrectomy.
These procedures can all be performed with laparoscopy, if the patient's individual case allows it. If you have been diagnosed with a gynecologic condition and the recommended treatment is hysterectomy, ask your doctor what minimally invasive options are available.