Compared with abdominal hysterectomy, laparoscopic surgery results in less pain has a lower risk of infection and requires a shorter hospital stay. You may be able to return to your normal activities sooner. There also are risks with laparoscopic surgery. It can take longer to perform compared with abdominal or vaginal surgery, especially if it is performed with a robot. Also, there is an increased risk of injury to the urinary tract and other organs with this type of surgery.
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 is usually not done for women with gynecologic cancer.
What preparations will be needed prior to surgery?
The surgeon may have the patient see their primary care doctor prior to surgery to make sure there are no medical conditions that may cause a problem with the surgery. There will be a pre-operative appointment prior to the day of surgery which will include a history and physical examination, blood samples, and a visit w a member of the anesthesia department. Patients should not eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before surgery.
What type of anesthesia will be required?
Patients are put to sleep under general anesthesia
Is there a hospital stay after surgery?
The majority of our patients go home the same day as their surgery.
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.
Laparoscopic patients can expect to suffer less post-operative pain than a traditional hysterectomy or cesarean section patients.