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Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

Laparoscopic surgery is an alternative to open surgery. A laparoscopic hysterectomy is a procedure to remove your womb (uterus). This procedure has a shorter recovery time, less discomfort, and is less expensive than an open operation. Laparoscopic surgery allows you to return to normal activities and recover faster. If laparoscopy is started and your surgeon feels it is not safe to continue on because of various reasons, it will be converted to an open abdominal procedure.

A laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) is done when a vaginal hysterectomy (removing the uterus through the vagina) should not be done because of an increase risk of complications.

Laparoscopic procedures may not be good to do when:

  • There is major scarring from:
    • Previous surgery.
    • Infection.
    • Endometriosis.
  • There are bleeding disorders.
  • There are other conditions which make the laparoscopic procedure impossible
  • The uterus is too large.
  • There are too many large fibroids.
  • There may be cancer of one of the female organs.

It will no longer be possible to have menstrual periods or become pregnant. Removal of the tubes and ovaries, is sometimes also done with this. If the tubes and ovaries are removed before menopause, you will go through a sudden (abrupt) menopause. This can be helped with hormone medications.

The birth canal (vagina) is left intact and this procedure will not affect your sex drive or sexual  relationship.


Some problems that can occur following this procedure include:

  • A germ starts growing in the wound (infection). This can usually be treated with medications which kill germs (antibiotics).
  • Bleeding following surgery. Your surgeon takes every precaution to keep this from happening.
  • Blood clots to your leg or lung.
  • Damage to other organs.
  • Anesthetic side effects (allergic to the anesthetic, too little or too much anesthesia).
  • Rarely can death occur with this or any operation.


  • Allergies.
  • Medications taken including herbs, eye drops, over the counter medications, and creams.
  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).
  • Previous problems with anesthetics or Novocaine
  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.
  • History of blood clots (thrombophlebitis).
  • History of bleeding or blood problems.
  • Previous surgery.
  • Other health problems.


You will be given an anesthetic. This will keep you pain free during surgery. When you are asleep, a harmless gas (carbon dioxide) will be used to inflate your abdomen. This will allow your surgeon to look around inside your abdomen and perform your surgery and treat any other problems found if necessary. Several small incisions will be made in your abdomen. One of these incisions will be made in the area of your belly button (naval) to insert a laparoscope  a small telescope with a light on the end of it). Your surgeon will look through the laparoscope while doing your procedure. Many surgeons attach a video camera to the laparoscope to enlarge the view of the pelvic organs and so they can be seen on a monitor (TV screen). Operating instruments used to perform the surgery will be inserted through the other incisions.


  • After the procedure, the gas is released from inside your abdomen. Your incisions are closed with stitches (sutures), staples or steri-strips. Because these incisions are small (usually less than one-half inch), there is usually minimal discomfort following the procedure.
  • You will be taken to the recovery area where a nurse will watch and check your progress. Once you are awake, stable, and taking fluids well, barring other problems, you will be returned to your room or allowed to go home.
  • You will have some mild discomfort in the throat. This is from the tube placed in your throat while you were sleeping.
  • Do not drink alcohol, drive a car, use public transportation or sign important papers for at least 1 to 2 days following surgery.
  • Try to have someone with you the first 3 to 5 days after you go home.


  • You may resume your diet as directed.
  • Rest as needed.
  • You will be sore for a couple weeks following surgery. Being sore is normal. Call or See your caregiver if this seems to be getting worse rather than better. You may need stronger pain medication.
  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver. Do not take aspirin. It may cause bleeding.
  • Resume daily activities as instructed by your caregiver.
  • Take showers for bathing, or as instructed by your caregiver. 
  • You should not have sexual intercourse until your caregiver says it is OK.
  • Do not douche or use tampons.
  • Change dressings if necessary or as directed.
  • Keep the wounds dry and clean. The wounds may be washed gently with soap and water. Gently blot or dab dry following cleansing without rubbing. Do not take baths, use swimming pools or use hot tubs for ten days, or as instructed by your caregiver.
  • There should be no heavy lifting (more than 10 pounds) for  6 weeks or until your caregiver says it is OK.
  • Make an appointment to see your caregiver for stitches (suture) or staple removal and post op care when instructed.


  • There is redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wound or wounds.
  • There is pus coming from the wounds.
  • There is drainage from a wound lasting longer than 1 day.
  • An unexplained oral temperature above 101 develops.
  • You notice a bad (foul) smell coming from the wounds or dressing.
  • A breaking open of the wound (edges not staying together) after sutures or staples have been removed.
  • You notice increasing pain in the shoulders (shoulder strap areas).
  • You develop dizzy episodes or fainting while standing.
  • You develop persistent nausea or vomiting. You have burning and pain with urination.
  • You have problems with bowel movements (diarrhea, constipation).
  • You develop abnormal vaginal discharge.


  • You have increasing abdominal pain.
  • You develop new pain in your shoulders in the shoulder strap area that gets worse with time. (Some pain is common and expected because of the gas inserted into your abdomen during the procedure.)
  • You feel light headed or faint.
  • You have chills or fever. If you develop an elevated temperature, record these. Have the records to show your caregiver.
  • You develop heavy bleeding or drainage from the suture sites or the vagina following surgery.
  • You have chest pain.
  • You have shortness of breath.
  • You have pain, swelling or redness in your leg.

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