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Hysterectomy: Types of Surgical Incisions - Topic Overview

Your surgeon will recommend one or more types of hysterectomy (you may or may not have a choice, depending on your condition). An abdominal hysterectomy requires a larger incision. A vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy uses small incisions.

Abdominal hysterectomy. Two types of surgical incisions are used for an abdominal hysterectomy.

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  • The midline incision is made from just below the belly button (umbilicus) straight down the abdomen to just above the pubic hairline.
  • A transverse incision (bikini line) is made just above the pubic hairline.

Vaginal hysterectomy. During a vaginal hysterectomy, the incisions to remove the uterus are made on the inside of the vagina.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy. To allow insertion of a small viewing instrument (laparoscope) and surgical instruments, small incisions are made in the abdomen.

The vaginal and laparoscopic techniques are sometimes combined.

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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.
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