By Dr. Jayashree Todkar, Laparoscopic Surgeon
Removal of uterus or Vaginal Hysterectomy is the process of removing the uterus through the vagina. The uterus is usually extracted by making an incision on the vagina, rather than on the stomach area. During the removal of uterus, the Fallopian tube and the Ovaries might also be removed.
The traditional surgical method for vaginal hysterectomy is very invasive as it is an open surgery. However, there is a much more modern approach to uterus extraction, which is Gynecologic Laparoscopy. Laparoscopic removal of the uterus is a minimally-invasive surgical method which doesn’t require the surgeon to perform an open surgery on the vagina.
What is a Laparoscope?
Laparoscope is a slender long instrument with a small camera attached to it on the tip. Laparoscope is usually inserted into the area where the surgery is to take place. The instrument can act like a telescope for diagnostic purposes, it can act like a spoon to scoop tissue samples for biopsy purposes and can also act like an extractor for surgical purposes.
Uses of Laparoscopy in gynecology
● Hysterectomy (removal of a part of the uterus or the entire uterus)
● Removal of ovaries
● Tube ligation (contraception)
● Removal of Fibroids
● Blocking excessive blood flow
● Endometrial tissue ablation
Procedure of uterus removal by Laparoscopy
Step 1: At first the surgeon will use anesthetic to make the patient unconscious during the procedure.
Step 2: Then the surgeon will insert a catheter that will collect a urine sample.
Step 3: A small needle is inserted inside the abdominal region and is filled with carbon dioxide gas to reduce tissue damage during the surgery by maintaining optimal pressure inside the uterus.
Step 4: A doctor then makes a small incision on the abdominal region; through that incision a Laparoscope is inserted. The Laparoscope is used for looking around the uterus for extraction sites and then needle like instruments are passed through the Laparoscope to extract certain parts of uterus little by little. In a full uterus removal, more complex instruments are used to scoop the uterus out.
Step 5: After the procedure is done, the doctor stitches up the incision and the patient will be sent to recovery.
Benefits of Laparoscopic surgery
● Laparoscopic surgeries are minimally invasive
● Incisions are relatively smaller than open surgery (Approx. 0.5 inches long)
● Less risk of getting an infection
● Minimal pain, which is way lesser than in open surgery
● Shorter recovery period is required
Laparoscopic surgeries are an epitome of medical science modernization, it is minimally invasive and there is less risk with this surgery. When it comes to uterus removal, it is better to go for Laparoscopic surgery as it makes fewer marks on the abdomen. However, the surgeon will be the ultimate decision maker about what kind of surgery one should get.