Hysterectomy by type:
Hysterectomy no matter how it is performed is a “major” surgery and involves major decisions. This is a major decision for a woman and requires a discussion between the surgeon and the patient and other family members or friends as she requests. The choice to have a hysterectomy usually comes after a woman has had problems with pain or heavy menses and conservative measures have failed. It can be a very emotional decision too since women are afraid of how it will affect them as a “woman.”
Laparoscopic Supra-Cervical Hysterectomy (LSH, Subtotal Hysterectomy):
In this procedure the cervix remains but the uterus and fallopian tubes are removed. (The ovaries are a separate issue. See “ovary removal at hysterectomy”). This type of hysterectomy is the least invasive, has the lowest infection rate, has the least risk to injuring other organs (in my opinion) and has the quickest return to normal activities.
Incisions: The LSH surgery is done through a pencil size incision (< ¼ inch) inside the bellybutton, a pencil size incision in the right lower abdomen and a ½ inch incision in the left lower abdomen. On some occasions another pencil size incision will be made in the lower abdomen just above the pubic hair area when a uterus is very big or a difficult surgery is encountered.
Remember each patient is unique and each surgical situation is unique (previous scars, tattoos, etc.). We will estimate for you where you incisions will be in your specific situation. Some women who have had previous surgery will need a small incision in another location.
Who can have this type of hysterectomy? Most women are eligible for this type of surgery unless they have:
- Severe pain with intercourse.
- Pre cancer or cancer of the cervix.
- Pre cancer or cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus).
You will not be given this option unless you are a good candidate.