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Know About Vaginal Hysterectomy

What is vaginal hysterectomy?

It is a procedure to remove the uterus through the vagina.

While doing hysterectomy, the surgeon detaches the uterus from the ovaries, fallopian tubes and vaginal, as well as from the blood vessels and connective tissues that support it. The uterus is then removed through the vaginal.

Vaginal hysterectomy involves a shorter time in the hospital,  lower cost and faster recovery compared to an abdominal hysterectomy, which requires an incision in your lower abdomen. But in case your uterus is enlarged, vaginal hysterectomy may not be possible and your physician will talk to you about other surgical options, such as abdominal hysterectomy.

Hysterectomy often includes removal of the cervix and also the uterus. When the surgeon also removes one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes, it’s called a total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy. Each one of these organs are part of your reproductive system and are located in your pelvis.

Know the procedure

You can have general anesthesia, which means you won’t be awake for the surgery.  Additionally, you may select a spinal block (regional anesthesia) with a medication that makes you drowsy, or you may remain awake during your surgery.

To perform the surgery:

  • Your surgeon makes an incision inside your vagina to get in the uterus
  • Employing long instruments, your surgeon clamps the uterus blood vessels and also separates your uterus from the connective tissues, ovaries and fallopian tubes
  • Your uterus is removed through the vaginal opening, and stitches are used to control any bleeding inside the pelvis

Except in cases of suspected uterus cancer, the surgeon may cut an enlarged uterus into smaller pieces and then remove it in sections (morcellation).

Laparoscopic or robotic hysterectomy

You might be a candidate for a laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH) or robotic hysterectomy. Both processes allow your surgeon to remove the uterus vaginally while having the capability to see your pelvis organs through a laparoscope.

During LAVH, several small incisions (cuts) are made in the abdominal wall through which slender metal tubes known as “trocars” are inserted to provide passage for a laparoscope and other microsurgical tools. The laparoscope acts as a tiny telescope. A camera attached to it provides a continuous image that is magnified and projected onto a television screen for viewing. Your surgeon then removes the uterus through an incision made in your vagina.

Your surgeon may recommend LAVH or robotic hysterectomy if you’ve scar tissue (pelvis adhesions) on pelvis organs from previous surgeries or out of endometriosis.

Risks

Even though vaginal hysterectomy is generally safe, any surgery has risks. Risks of vaginal hysterectomy include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs
  • Infection
  • Damage to surrounding organs
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Surgical risks are greater in women who are obese or who have high blood pressure.