Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus (womb). The ovaries and fallopian tubes may be removed during the procedure as well; removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes is called bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
A hysterectomy may be advised for a number of conditions. These include abnormal uterine bleeding, excessive uterine bleeding, irregular uterine bleeding, fibroids (also known as leiomyoma), pelvic organ prolapse, and at times chronic pelvic pain. Hysterectomy can be performed by an abdominal, vaginal, or laparoscopic approach.
Vaginal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which the uterus is removed through the vagina. Studies have shown that vaginal hysterectomy has fewer complications, requires a shorter hospital stay, and allows a faster recovery compared to removal of the uterus through an abdominal incision (abdominal hysterectomy). If a physician recommends an abdominal hysterectomy, which involves making an incision in the abdominal wall, it may be because they are more comfortable with this approach or because the uterus is enlarged by fibroids.
The physicians of the division are experts in vaginal hysterectomy and have been successful in performing this procedure even when the uterus is enlarged. This allows patients a faster, less painful recovery than abdominal hysterectomy. The vaginal approach should not used if the reason for the surgery is related to cancer.