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Types of Hysterectomy

Topic Overview

Abdominal hysterectomy is done when:

An abdominal hysterectomy is usually required to remove endometriosis implants and adhesions to restore the function of other organs involved.

Vaginal hysterectomy can be done:

  • To remove uterine fibroids that are small.
  • When the uterus is of normal or slightly enlarged size.
  • When endometriosis implants are not present.
  • When there is no significant scarring in the pelvis from previous surgeries.

This surgery requires more specialized surgical skill than an abdominal hysterectomy.

Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) can be done:

  • When uterine fibroids are small to moderate in size.
  • When the uterus is slightly larger than normal.
  • When a woman has never given birth (nulliparous).
  • To remove endometriosis and adhesions confined to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

LAVH requires specialized surgical training.

Laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy (LSH) can be done:

  • To remove uterine fibroids of any size.
  • To remove a uterus of any size.

LSH is done by inserting a laparoscope (lighted viewing instrument) and surgical instruments through several small abdominal incisions. The uterus is removed in small pieces with a special surgical instrument.

LSH leaves the cervix intact, so women continue with their regular Pap smears, which check for cervical precancer and cancer. LSH requires specialized surgical training and may not be available everywhere.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised January 9, 2012

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