A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, usually performed by a gynaecologist. It is the most commonly performed gynaecological surgical procedure. Vaginal and laparoscopic hysterectomies have been clearly associated with decreased blood loss, shorter hospital stay, speedier return to normal activities, and fewer abdominal wall infections when compared with abdominal hysterectomies.
Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) is a surgical procedure that uses a laparoscope to guide the removal of the uterus and/or Fallopian tubes and ovaries through the vagina. 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 allows the doctor see the pelvic organs. The abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide to better view the organs and to give more room. Other small cuts are made in the abdomen. Through these cuts, instruments are inserted. A cut is also made where the uterus joins the vagina. The bladder and rectum are gently pushed off the uterus, which is removed through the cut in the vagina. The vagina is then closed to prevent infection and to keep the intestines from dropping down. The areas are then stitched. The scars, pain, and recovery time from LAVH are usually significantly less than with an abdominal hysterectomy.