A laparoscopic hysterectomy is a procedure to remove all or part of the uterus. The surgery is an option for patients with conditions that cause uterine pain or bleeding—such as fibroids, endometriosis, or certain types of cancer. In a laparoscopic hysterectomy, a surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen and operates with the aid of a camera, called a laparoscope, to remove the uterus through the abdomen or the vagina. Depending on your health and personal situation, your physician may also advise the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes during this procedure.
A hysterectomy can be the answer to a wide range of medical problems. Some women may try other treatments until they are finished having children but sometimes a hysterectomy can be the only option—such as with certain types of cancers and prolonged heavy bleeding. Some of the main reasons that a woman might consider a hysterectomy are:
- Uterine Fibroids
- Uterine Prolapse
- Cancer of the Uterus, Cervix, or Ovaries
- Abnormal or Heavy Vaginal Bleeding
- Chronic Pain
Laparoscopic hysterectomies are usually performed by gynecologists. You will be under general or regional anesthesia (such as a spinal block or epidural) for the surgery and you will not feel pain. The surgery is usually outpatient and recovery time can range from one to two weeks.
Are there alternatives to a laparoscopic hysterectomy?
If your doctor tells you that you need a hysterectomy, it’s usually because you’ve tried other options without success. There are three surgical alternatives to a laparoscopic hysterectomy, though you’ll want to check with your doctor to see they are a good option for you.
- Abdominal Hysterectomy — In an abdominal hysterectomy, a surgeon removes the uterus from an incision in the lower abdomen. The surgeon can easily examine the pelvic organs through this incision. Abdominal hysterectomies are often advised for women with larger uteri. Because of the bigger incision, this surgery usually has a longer recovery time than a laparoscopic hysterectomy.
- Vaginal Hysterectomy — In a vaginal hysterectomy, a surgeon removes the uterus through the vagina. Because the procedure is done inside the body, there is no visible scarring. Vaginal hysterectomies are a minimally invasive surgery with recovery times similar to those of a laparoscopic hysterectomy.
- Myomectomy — Fibroids are one of the main reasons for hysterectomies in the United States. Myomectomy is a procedure in which a surgeon removes the fibroids and leaves the uterus intact. This surgery may improve fertility in some women, but fibroids are likely to grow back.
The type of procedure you get will depend on your overall health and your doctor’s recommendations. You can always ask your doctor why they’re recommending any procedure. Also, if you’re unsure about their recommendations, feel free to get a second opinion.
How much should you pay for your laparoscopic hysterectomy?
The cost of your laparoscopic hysterectomy will depend on a variety of factors. These may include whether you have health insurance, who you choose to perform your scan, as well as where you choose to have the procedure done. Healthcare facilities don’t always make it easy to research how these variables will impact the price that you pay for your laparoscopic hysterectomy. Visit New Choice Health’s laparoscopic hysterectomy cost page to learn more about how much you should expect to pay for your procedure.