Today’s surgical hysterectomies are far less invasive than in the past. The older, open hysterectomy meant that you would have one large incision that resulted in a scar, required a hospital stay of 3 to 5 days, and the recovery time often took a couple of months. While a hysterectomy was and still is, a major surgical procedure, the laparoscopic hysterectomy results in minimal scarring, a shorter hospital stay, and a normal recovery time of a couple of weeks.
Your laparoscopic hysterectomy will be performed in a hospital, and you will be given a general anesthetic so that you will be asleep during the operation and not feel any pain. The surgery will take approximately two hours for completion.
For this procedure, often referred to as a keyhole surgery, your surgeon will make a few small incisions in your abdominal area for the removal of your uterus. If your cervix is also going to be removed, another small incision will be made in the vagina area where the cervix will be removed. A laparoscopic instrument with an attached small video camera is inserted into one of the incisions. This enables your surgeon to clearly view all of your internal organs. Surgical instruments are inserted through the other incisions that will separate your uterus from its blood supply so that it can be removed through one of the incisions. If your uterus is too large, it may be removed through your vagina, or it may be cut into smaller strips for easier removal.
The Recovery Time
The average recovery time for a laparoscopic hysterectomy is two weeks, but your personal recovery time will depend on your individual healing situation. Before you leave the hospital, you will be instructed on how to care for your surgical area, how long it be before you can bath in a bathtub rather than using a shower, when you will be allowed to resume normal activities that will include having sex, how long it will before you are allowed to lift heavy objects, when you can return to work, and when you will need to schedule follow up appointments with your surgeon. Be prepared to give your body all the time it needs to recover after major surgery and don’t try to rush the process.