A hysterectomy is performed via surgical incision made in the abdomen or may be done vaginally with the assistance of a laparoscope. Since the latter procedure is considered to be less invasive than the former, the laparoscopic hysterectomy recovery time may be less in terms of the length of hospital stay required as well as down time.
Hysterectomy is a procedure that has far-reaching consequences and it is important to explore all other options as well as be well aware of the impacts and side effects of this procedure before opting for it regardless of laparoscopic hysterectomy recovery time or the recovery time taken for a hysterectomy performed any other way.
Difference between abdominal and laparoscopic hysterectomy
While the abdominal procedure requires an incision 4 to 6 inches long, a laparoscopic procedure may produce a very small, barely visible scar.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy is considered to be a minimally invasive procedure since the incision required to be made is very small.
The most significant difference between abdominal hysterectomy and the laparoscopic procedure is the recovery time. Whereas the abdominal procedure may have a recovery time of 6 weeks or so, the laparoscopic hysterectomy recovery time is about 2 weeks (laparoscopic assisted vaginal procedures could have a recovery time of up to 4 weeks however).
The abdominal procedure is considered a major abdominal surgery and a woman is required to stay in hospital for 3 to 6 days and recovery may be slow and painful. For some laparoscopic procedures, the hospital stay could be as little as one day or less, though some laparoscopic assisted methods may require up to 3 days in hospital.
Types of laparoscopic hysterectomies
There are two ways in which laparoscopic hysterectomy is performed – For a total laparoscopic hysterectomy, rather than opening up the abdomen via an incision, a very small opening is made (known as a keyhole incision) in the abdomen, usually near the navel. Then there is the laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy, or LAVH that is performed via the vagina by inserting a laparoscope and surgical instruments.
Points to ponder
Though the laparoscopic hysterectomy recovery time is less than the abdominal surgery, the procedure itself takes longer to perform.
Also this is a more expensive operation and so cost is another factor to consider.
The skill of the surgeon is another crucial factor to consider. The doctor needs to have a high degree of skill and a lot of experience in laparoscopic procedures (the doctor should have performed between 25 and 50 such procedures ideally) because this is a delicate kind of surgery and someone will less skill and experience can do a lot of damage.
The decision of whether or not to undergo a hysterectomy is a decision that should be based on medical advice, but should also consider a woman’s own feelings. For some women, the symptoms of their condition may be so troublesome that the option of surgery is something that they look upon hoping that it will put an end to their misery.
However there is also the fact that a hysterectomy effectively means the end of a woman’s fertile period of life. So apart from laparoscopic hysterectomy recovery time, all of these points should be taken into account as well.