Understanding the Different Surgical Approaches to a Hysterectomy

You’ve determined that a hysterectomy is the best avenue for improving your health, but now your next choice is how we go about it. Thanks to advancing surgical techniques, there are several different options when it comes to removing your uterus (and possibly other organs), from a traditional open approach to more minimally invasive methods.

At Marion Ob/Gyn Inc., Dr. David Foulk and our team have extensive experience treating women’s health issues of all kinds. We pride ourselves on offering our patients the most advanced treatments available, which includes the laparoscopic-assisted hysterectomy. In fact, Dr. Foulk was the first physician in the Marion, Ohio, area to offer this minimally invasive option.

To help you better understand the available options, we’ve pulled together a quick review of the different techniques for performing a hysterectomy.

The path of least resistance

If your health issue is benign, we prefer to take the least invasive and risky surgical approach to your hysterectomy — vaginal laparoscopic surgery. With this technique, we access your uterus laparoscopically through your vagina, which means the incisions are not only hidden, but much smaller than traditional methods.

Using a specialized camera and small tools, we’re able to perform the surgery in the most minimally invasive way possible, which reduces your:

This technique is so successful that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated that a “vaginal hysterectomy is the approach of choice whenever feasible. Evidence demonstrates that it is associated with better outcomes when compared with other approaches to hysterectomy.”

At our practice, we’ve had great success with this technique, but it may not be for everyone. For example, the size and shape of both your vagina and uterus may preclude you from a vaginal hysterectomy, which brings us to the next two options.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy 

This option is also a minimally invasive approach to a hysterectomy, but instead of accessing your uterus through your vagina, we access it abdominally.

As we stated above, there may be a reason why a vaginal hysterectomy isn’t right for you, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still avail ourselves of the latest technology to minimize your risks and tissue damage.

With this technique, we only need to make very small incisions in your abdomen, through which we thread the laparoscope and specialized tools to perform your hysterectomy. 

Open hysterectomy

If your health issue is one that needs a closer look, especially if we’re dealing with cancer, an open hysterectomy may be the best avenue. With an open hysterectomy, we make an incision in your abdomen that’s big enough to allow us to see the area directly and remove what we need to.

Ultimately, your health largely dictates which approach we should take for your hysterectomy, but your input is important for this decision, too. To sit down with Dr. Foulk and discuss your situation, please contact our office to set up a consultation.

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