Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

A total laparoscopic hysterectomy is a minimally invasive surgery to remove your uterus and cervix. This surgery is performed by making several small cuts (incisions) in your abdomen. It can also be done with a thin, lighted tube (laparoscope) inserted into two small incisions in your lower abdomen. Your fallopian tubes and ovaries can be removed (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) during this surgery as well. Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Less pain.

  • Less risk of blood loss.

  • Less risk of infection.

  • Quicker return to normal activities.

LET YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Any allergies you have.

  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.

  • Previous problems you or members of your family have had with the use of anesthetics.

  • Any blood disorders you have.

  • Previous surgeries you have had.

  • Medical conditions you have.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, as with any procedure, complications can occur. Possible complications include:

  • Bleeding.

  • Blood clots in the legs or lung.

  • Infection.

  • Injury to surrounding organs.

  • Problems with anesthesia.

  • Early menopause symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia).

  • Risk of conversion to an open abdominal incision.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

  • Ask your health care provider about changing or stopping your regular medicines.

  • Do not take aspirin or blood thinners (anticoagulants) for 1 week before the surgery or as told by your health care provider.

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 8 hours before the surgery or as told by your health care provider.

  • Quit smoking if you smoke.

  • Arrange for a ride home after surgery and for someone to help you at home during recovery.

PROCEDURE

  • You will be given antibiotic medicine.

  • An IV tube will be placed in your arm. You will be given medicine to make you sleep (general anesthetic).

  • A gas (carbon dioxide) will be used to inflate your abdomen. This will allow your surgeon to look inside your abdomen, perform your surgery, and treat any other problems found if necessary.

  • Three or four small incisions (often less than 1/2 inch) will be made in your abdomen. One of these incisions will be made in the area of your belly button (navel). The laparoscope will be inserted into the incision. Your surgeon will look through the laparoscope while doing your procedure.

  • Other surgical instruments will be inserted through the other incisions.

  • Your uterus may be removed through your vagina or cut into small pieces and removed through the small incisions.

  • Your incisions will be closed.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • The gas will be released from inside your abdomen.

  • 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, without other problems, you will return to your room or be allowed to go home.

  • There is usually minimal discomfort following the surgery because the incisions are so small.

  • You will be given pain medicine while you are in the hospital and for when you go home.