What are the advantages of a laparoscopic hysterectomy surgery?
A laparoscopic hysterectomy requires only a few small incisions, compared to a traditional abdominal hysterectomy which is done through a 3-6 inch incision. As a result, there is less blood loss, less scarring and less post-operative pain. A laparoscopic hysterectomy is usually done as an outpatient procedure whereas an abdominal hysterectomy usually requires a 2-3 day hospital stay. The recovery period for this laparoscopic procedure is 1-2 weeks, compared to 4-6 weeks after an abdominal hysterectomy.
The risks of blood loss and infection are lower with laparoscopic hysterectomy than with an abdominal hysterectomy. In experienced hands, laparoscopic hysterectomy takes about the same length of time as an abdominal hysterectomy and involves no greater risk.
Who should have laparoscopic hysterectomy surgery?
Most patients who are having a hysterectomy to treat abnormal uterine bleeding or fibroids can have a laparoscopic hysterectomy. It may not be possible in some cases. For example, if the uterus is bigger than a 4 month pregnancy, if she’s had multiple previous operations in her lower abdomen. It is usually not done for women with a gynecologic cancer.
What kind of recovery can be expected?
Patients should expect to take ibuprofen or narcotic pain pills for a few days post-operatively. We encourage patients NOT to stay in bed. They should move around the house and resume normal activities as soon as they feel up to it. Some women are well enough to return to work one week after surgery. Women who have more physically demanding work should stay home for 2-3 weeks. Women can resume exercise and sex within a few weeks of the surgery.