Friday, March 15, 2013

What to Expect With a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

A laparoscopic hysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which a woman’s uterus is removed with the aid of a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a thin, telescope-like instrument that is inserted into the abdomen through small incisions. The laparoscope acts like a camera and guides the surgeon through the procedure. This operation is far less invasive than other hysterectomy procedures and has the advantage of usually keeping the patient’s cervix intact. However, it is more common that a doctor has to remove the cervix.


The biggest benefit of undergoing a laparoscopic hysterectomy surgery is that it is a minimally invasive procedure. Typically, the doctor only needs to make small incisions that are between five and six inches long. This means that there is less blood loss, less scarring and less postoperative pain than with other hysterectomy methods. It can also be performed as an outpatient procedure as opposed to a more traditional hysterectomy, which usually requires a one night hospital stay. The recovery period after a laparoscopic procedure is also considerably shorter, with most patients being fully recovered after one to two weeks.

What to Expect

As with most surgical procedures, patients preparing to undergo a laparoscopic hysterectomy can expect to undergo a pre-op appointment that may include a physical examination, a blood test and a visit with an anesthesiologist. Patients are placed under general anesthesia for the procedure itself. Roughly, 85 percent of patients are allowed to return home the day of the procedure, and they are encouraged to remain active and resume normal activities almost immediately. Pain can be managed with ibuprofen or narcotic pain pills.

Overall, patients who undergo a laparoscopic hysterectomy will find that the procedure is much easier and less painful than many other hysterectomy options. As with any surgery, there are risks involved, so you will need to contact Dr. Wong to discuss if this procedure is right for you.

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