This procedure is a minimally invasive way remove the womb. You need to have a medical check-up before the operation. This includes a history, physical examination, ultrasound scan, ECG and some blood tests. This surgery is done under general anaesthesia (while you sleep). During this operation, a tiny camera is inserted into the tummy through a small (1 cm) cut made inside the navel. The gynaecologist can see inside of your tummy on a TV screen connected to the camera while performing the procedure. Three other smaller cuts are made on your lower tummy in order to insert other instrument during the procedure.
This surgery has many variants. Your doctor will guide you to select the most suitable operation for you. Most women undergo operation to remove only the uterus leaving ovaries behind. This is called total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH). If the ovaries are left behind you do not need to take hormones and you will not experience menopausal symptoms. You can choose to keep the cervix, and in this case it is called laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy. If the cervix is left behind, there is 5% chance for you to have menstrual periods and you need to continue regular pap smears.
The traditional surgery to remove womb is done through a 12 – 15 cm log cut on lower tummy while laparoscopic operation requires only a few small cuts. Blood loss during operation is much less on laparoscopic operation and many women walks on the same day after the operation. Most patients go home on the same day or on the following day after their surgery. Recovery time is much faster and you can get back to your normal work within 1 – 2 weeks. Risks of infection, scar tissue formation, blood loss are very low in laparoscopic procedure compared to traditional open procedure.
Pain after the operation is less compared to traditional hysterectomy or caesarean section. Pain killer tablets are usually enough during post-operative period. Women can resume exercise and sex within few weeks after the operation.
Following patient education video is a publication of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (UK).