Frequently Asked Questions

1. A Hysterectomy? What is it?
2. A Hysterectomy? What Kind?
3. Frightened and Anxious?
4. Go to doctor appointment with her?
5. How can the rest of the family and friends help?
6. How to Prepare the Room?
7. Is a Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy Best?
8. Light housework? What is that?
9. No Libido?
10. Post-op bleeding?
11. SEX! When can we get back to normal?
12. Swelly belly? Tender belly?
13. Trouble getting out of bed?
14. What Type of Surgeon for Cancer?
15. When can she cook?
16. Why Does She Need a Second Opinion?
17. Why is my wife not feeling better?

* A Hysterectomy? What Kind?

I understand there are different kinds of hysterectomy surgeries. What are they and how are they different?

It is important to understand that a hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus. A total hysterectomy means the entire uterus is removed. If the ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed, this is called a Bilateral Salpingo oophorectomy.

Vaginal Hysterectomy

A vaginal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure done through the vagina, removing the uterus and cervix. If your doctor has mentioned a vaginal hysterectomy there will not be an incision in the abdomen. In recent years, the vaginal hysterectomy has become more common as technology provides for additional help to the surgeon. Sometimes this surgery is aided by the use of a laparoscope.

Expect 6 - 8 weeks of recovery time with lifting and straining restrictions for the entire period. It is also normal to expect to have a restriction on intercourse for the whole of the initial recovery period.

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

The laparoscopic hysterectomy is a minimally invasive surgery to remove your uterus. There are several different kinds of laparoscopic hysterectomy surgeries and it is important to talk to your surgeon about your choices. Read more about What You Need to Know About Hysterectomy.

Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy - LSH

A supracervical hysterectomy removes the uterus but leaves the cervix in place, which some research suggests may reduce the risk of pelvic organ prolapse and preserve sexual function. This is sometimes referred to as “partial hysterectomy.”

Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy - LAVH

During a LAVH, several small cuts are made in the abdominal wall through which slender metal tubes called "trocars" are inserted to provide access for a laparoscope and other small surgical instruments. The laparoscope is like a tiny telescope with a camera attached to that provides a continuous image which is enlarged and projected onto a television screen.

Total Laparascopic Hysterectomy

Just as a LAVH, tiny cuts are made in the abdominal wall to provide access for laparoscope and other surgical instruments. The uterus is removed through the tiny cuts in portions.

daVinciŽ Hysterectomy - DH or RALH
This procedure is done through the use of a surgical robotic device guided and aided by a surgeon. The uterus is cut up into small pieces and removed through the tubes which were inserted into the abdomen OR the uterus is "delivered" vaginally.

Laparo-Endoscopic Single-Site Hysterectomy - LESS
This procedure is done through an approximately one inch single incision in the fold of the belly button which avoids the large six to eight inch incision made in the lower abdomen involved in typical open hysterectomy and the multiple (3 - 5) approximately one inch incisions required for standard laparoscopic surgery.

Total Abdominal Hysterectomy
An abdominal hysterectomy is abdominal surgery for the removal of the entire uterus (including the cervix). If your doctor has mentioned an abdominal hysterectomy, a horizontal incision or vertical incision will be made in the abdomen. Until recently, the abdominal hysterectomy was most commonly performed.

This procedure typically gives the surgeon room to work and view the entire abdominal cavity during surgery, especially for those surgeons who do not use minimally invasive surgery methods.

Partial Abdominal Hysterectomy - SAH
This is the removal of the top of the uterus, leaving the cervix intact. Together they form the entire uterus. A Supracervical Abdominal Hysterectomy (SAH) means that only the top portion of the uterus is removed as the cervix is left in place.

Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy - BSO
This involves the removal of both ovaries and of both tubes. Sometimes, both ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed at the same time a hysterectomy is done. When both ovaries and both tubes are removed, it is called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy which is usually shortened to BSO. (bilateral=both sides, salpingo =the fallopian tubes, oophore =the ovaries, ectomy = removal)