Laparoscopic-Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH)
A laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy enables your surgeon to better see the uterus and surrounding tissues during the surgical removal of the uterus through the vagina. An LAVH involves several very small incisions in the abdomen, in addition to a small incision just below the naval.
A thin, lighted, telescope-like instrument (which acts like a video camera) is inserted through the incision just below the naval. The surgeon is then able to view inside the uterus using a monitor.
Small instruments are inserted through the other two small incisions in the abdomen. These instruments are used to cut and tie off the blood vessels, fallopian tubes and ligaments. The surgeon will then remove the uterus through the vagina.
Typically, with an LAVH surgery, the hospital stay is a day or two, and recovery is approximately two weeks.
Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH)
A Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH) is a laparoscopic hysterectomy that removes the uterus but preserves the cervix. Like other laparoscopic hysterectomies, two or three small incisions are made in the abdomen, as well as one just below the navel. Using the instruments, guided by the lighted laparoscope (which acts like a camera), the surgeon carefully separates the uterus from the cervix and then removes it through one of the openings.
The LSH, (as well as the LH), was developed for the purpose of reducing pain, minimizing scarring and shortening the recovery time. This procedure can be performed outpatient, giving you the ability to be back home, and resting comfortably less than 24 hours after the surgery. Most women are able to return to normal activities in approximately one week.
Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy (LH)
A total laparoscopic hysterectomy is performed just like a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy (LSH). The primary difference is that both the uterus and the cervix are removed.
Like the LSH, the LH is beneficial in that it involves reduced pain, minimal scaring and a shorter recovery time. Performed on an outpatient basis, most women return to normal activities in approximately one week.
During an abdominal hysterectomy, your surgeon will make an incision in your abdomen, similar to a cesarean section. The surgeon will use this incision to remove the uterus and other reproductive organs (if necessary).
A benefit of the abdominal hysterectomy is that it gives the surgeon an excellent view of the uterus and other reproductive organs. It also allows for the removal of large fibroids. Because the surgeon has plenty of room to work, he or she is able to view any scarring from previous surgeries.
Unfortunately, an abdominal hysterectomy does leave a scar, has a longer recovery time, and involves more discomfort.
A vaginal hysterectomy, as suggested, means the uterus is excised and removed through the vagina. During this type of hysterectomy, your surgeon will make an incision near the top of the vagina. Your surgeon will use this incision to cut and tie off ligaments, blood vessels and fallopian tubes.
The surgery and hospital stay are typically shorter than with an abdominal hysterectomy. Additionally, women are able to return to normal activities within about four weeks. A vaginal hysterectomy is a less invasive experience and offers minimal scarring. As would be expected, this type of hysterectomy involves less discomfort.