Skip to content

Women's Health

Font Size

Hysterectomy - Comparison of Hysterectomy Procedures

Total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH)

The total laparoscopic hysterectomy is done by inserting a laparoscope and surgical instruments through several small incisions in the abdomen. The uterus and the cervix are removed in small pieces through one of the incisions. TLH can be done:

  • To remove uterine fibroids that are small to moderate in size.
  • When there is not a lot of scar tissue in the pelvic area.
  • When there is not a worry about cancer in the ovaries.

TLH requires the surgeon to have special training. It usually takes longer to do than abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy. But recovery and hospital stay are shorter than for total abdominal hysterectomy. TLH is not available in many parts of the country.

Advantages and disadvantages of hysterectomy procedures
Procedure Advantages Disadvantages
Vaginal hysterectomy
  • Enables removal of a normal to slightly larger-than-normal uterus and small uterine fibroids
  • When compared with abdominal hysterectomy, requires a shorter hospital stay2
  • Usually has a faster recovery than an abdominal hysterectomy2
  • Tends to cause less pain during recovery than after an abdominal surgery
  • Doesn't leave scars on the abdomen

When compared with abdominal hysterectomy, a routine vaginal hysterectomy:

  • Doesn't allow free access to the pelvic organs. The doctor may not be able to remove a very large uterus; large fibroids; areas of endometriosis, adenomyosis, or scar tissue (adhesions).
  • Isn't used for cancer-related surgery.
  • May need to be switched to an abdominal surgery if the doctor is unable to remove a very large uterus or areas of endometriosis, adenomyosis, or scar tissue (adhesions).
Abdominal hysterectomy
  • Provides the surgeon good visibility and easy access to the pelvic organs
  • Enables removal of a very large uterus or large areas of endometriosis, adenomyosis, or scar tissue (adhesions)
  • Cervix can be removed or left in place
  • Requires less time under anesthesia and in surgery than a laparoscopic hysterectomy3

When compared with other types of hysterectomy, a routine abdominal hysterectomy:

  • Requires longer hospital stay and recovery time.2
  • Tends to lead to more pain during recovery.
  • Leaves a visible scar on the abdomen. A bikini-line incision may be possible.
Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH)
  • Allows your doctor to examine your pelvic organs camera.gif and remove cysts, scar tissue (adhesions), fibroids, and areas of infection
  • When compared with abdominal hysterectomy, requires a shorter hospital stay and causes less pain during recovery2
  • Smaller scars on the abdomen than with an abdominal hysterectomy

When compared with other types of hysterectomy, a routine LAVH:

  • May need to be switched to an abdominal surgery if the doctor is unable to remove a very large uterus or areas of endometriosis, adenomyosis, or scar tissue (adhesions).
  • Takes more time to perform.2
  • May have an increased risk of injury if the surgeon is inexperienced.
Laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy (LSH)
  • When compared with abdominal hysterectomy, requires a shorter hospital stay, with a faster and less painful recovery
  • Leaves smaller scars on the abdomen than with an abdominal hysterectomy

When compared with other types of hysterectomy, a routine LSH:

  • May need to be switched to an abdominal surgery if the doctor is unable to remove a very large uterus or areas of endometriosis, adenomyosis, or scar tissue (adhesions).
  • Is likely to cost more.
  • May have an increased risk of injury if the surgeon is inexperienced.
Total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH)
  • Does not use an incision in the wall of the vagina
  • When compared with abdominal hysterectomy, requires a shorter hospital stay, with a faster and less painful recovery
  • Leaves smaller scars on the abdomen than with an abdominal hysterectomy

When compared with other types of hysterectomy, a routine TLH:

  • May need to be switched to an abdominal surgery if the doctor is unable to remove a very large uterus or areas of endometriosis, adenomyosis, or scar tissue (adhesions).
  • Is likely to cost more.
1|2
1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 09, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
 
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
insomnia
Is it menopause or something else?
 
Couple with troubles
Article
Bone density illustration
VIDEO
 
Young woman being vaccinated
Slideshow
woman holding hand to ear
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
Slideshow
mother and daughter talking
Evaluator
 
intimate couple
Article
puppy eating
Slideshow