It is a procedure by which the uterus is removed laparoscopically. This is done with the aid of a telescope and very fine instruments, without making a big incision in the abdomen.
What are the advantages of laparoscopic hysterectomy?
The advantages over the conventional hysterectomy are that there is minimal tissue handling resulting in much less pain and lesser chances of adhesion formation after the operation. 2-3 very small incisions of 0.5-1.0 cm (as compared to 10-15cms in conventional procedure) are given on the abdomen resulting in less blood loss and lesser chances of wound infection with decreased hospital stay and early recovery as compared to conventional surgery.
Who can undergo laparoscopic hysterectomy?
Usually all the patients who have been advised for conventional hysterectomy can undergo laparoscopic hysterectomy, provided the size of uterus is not very big (that is bigger than 20 cm).
A person with diabetes or hypertension can also undergo this procedure after the conditions are under control, and in fact the advantages of lesser chances of infection and early recovery are very beneficial for them.
A patient who has undergone operations in the past can also undergo this procedure and if there are adhesions because of previous operations, they can be removed along with the laparoscopic hysterectomy, in the same sitting.
It is also possible to treat or remove the ovaries and tubes while carrying out laparoscopic hysterectomy.
What preparation is needed before the procedure?
The usual routine tests are required as for any other operative procedure and no special investigation is required for laparoscopic hysterectomy.
To make the operation easier, the recovery after the operation faster and resumption of normal work or activity earlier, some medicines along with diet restriction is started 2-3 days before the operation.
If the patient is fully investigated and has undergone an anaesthetic check up, she can get admitted on the morning of the operation.
What happens after the procedure?
The total hospital stay is usually for two days, after which one can go back home.
On an average, two hours after lunch and eight hours rest after dinner is what is usually recommended. The patient can climb stairs slowly, walk half to one km slowly and carry out sedentary work at home without much difficulty. One can bathe as the stitch dressing is usually waterproof.
Routinely, the patient is called seven days after the operation for the removal of stitches and then after six weeks for an internal check up.
When can one resume normal activity or go back to work?
Once the stitches are removed, the patient can resume normal activity like walking, jogging, cooking, driving, sitting in front of the computers for 4-6 hrs etc. Sexual intercourse, strenuous exercise, lifting of heavy weights and swimming has to be avoided for six weeks.