What is a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy?
A laparoscopic hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus or womb. The procedure is minimally invasive, as opposed to open surgery. It sometimes includes the ovaries and fallopian tubes, if necessary, and is considered a total hysterectomy. It is the second most common procedure for women in the United States, and over 600,000 procedures are done each year. A hysterectomy is a permanent and irreversible procedure that will stop the menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy.
Three Approaches to a Hysterectomy
There are currently three surgical approaches to hysterectomies. These include:
- Open, Traditional Hysterectomy. This involves a three to six-inch incision made in the abdominal wall.
- Vaginal Hysterectomy. This involves removing the uterus through the vagina. This approach is better than the open, traditional hysterectomy, but still does not allow the surgeon a full view of the surrounding organs, including the bladder.
- Robotic-Assisted Radical Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy. A state-of-the-art robotic platform allows a surgeon to obtain a full view of the surrounding organs and more precise control over incisions.
- Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy. A portion of the operation is completed with the laparoscope, while the remainder is completed transvaginally.
- Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy. The entire operation is performed using the laparoscope and the surgical specimen is removed via the vagina.
Reasons for a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
A woman may have this procedure for a variety of reasons:
- Uterine fibroids that cause pain, bleeding, or other problems
- Uterine prolapse, sliding of the uterus from its normal position to the vaginal canal
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Adenomyosis, or thickening of the uterus
Preparation for the Procedure
The surgeon may have the patient see their primary care provider before the surgery, in order to ensure there are no medical conditions that can cause a problem. Prior to the day of the surgery, there will be a pre-operative appointment which includes a history and physical examination, blood samples, and a visit with the anesthesia department. Patients are advised not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before the procedure.
How is a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Performed?
The patient will be under general anesthesia for about 1-3 hours. During this time, the doctor will make a tiny incision at the belly button to insert a camera. This allows the doctor to see what they are doing and complete the procedure through 2-3 very small incisions. This is exceptionally minor compared to a traditional hysterectomy which requires a 3-6 inch incision. The small incisions allow the doctor to have a better look at the anatomy and stay extremely precise. Women can choose to keep the cervix in place or remove the entire uterus and cervix.
Advantages of a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Patients of a laparoscopic hysterectomy will experience less blood loss, less scarring, lower chance of infection, and less post-operational pain than the traditional procedure. Patients can also have this procedure done on an outpatient basis, and are often fully recovered in only 1-2 weeks.
Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Procedure in Livingston, NJ
Dr. Quartell is highly skilled and experienced in performing the laparoscopic hysterectomy procedure. He has proctored and demonstrated laparoscopic hysterectomy technique at SBMC, St. Peter Medical Center, RWJ University Hospital, St. Clare’s Medical Center, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, and John F. Kennedy Hospital. He will ensure you are treated with the highest quality of care to guarantee a safe procedure and speedy recovery. Make an appointment with Dr. Quartell by contacting our office today to further discuss if this procedure is right for you.