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What is a Laser Hysterectomy?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Feb 25, 2024
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The term “laser hysterectomy” can refer to several different procedures, not all of which actually involve the use of surgical lasers. Most commonly, it is used in reference to laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LVAH), a procedure performed without the use of a laser. It can also refer to laser ablation of the uterus, an acceptable treatment for certain kinds of conditions, although the uterus is not actually removed in such procedures and they are not technically hysterectomies.

In LVAH procedures, the surgeon inserts several tools through the abdomen to access the uterus and the uterus is removed through the vagina. The laser hysterectomy procedure is less invasive than an abdominal hysterectomy, where a large incision is made over the pelvis to access the uterus and remove it. It can be an alternative to total laparoscopic hysterectomy, where the uterus is removed in pieces through very small abdominal incisions. Total laparoscopic hysterectomy is not an option for all patients, for a variety of reasons.

Patients receiving a laser hysterectomy experience a much shorter recovery time. Major muscles are not severed and much of the pelvic floor is left intact. In addition to reducing pain and discomfort during recovery, this also reduces the risk of incontinence and other problems later on. Infections tend to be less likely with laparoscopic procedures and vaginal scarring is reduced, a concern for some women worried about sexual activity after hysterectomies.

Usually, very few scars can be seen with laser hysterectomy procedures. The incisions made to introduce instruments are small and will heal, leaving small marks. The marks will be more noticeable if the patient tans, but otherwise should be relatively unobtrusive. Scarring is a worry for some patients, especially since historically, hysterectomies required large incisions and often left ugly scars behind.

The reasons for calling the procedure a laser hysterectomy are unclear. It's possible that the term is meant to capitalize on patient preference for the latest medical procedures. Laser procedures also have a reputation for safety, reliability, and reduced healing time, making “laser” in the name of a procedure appealing for a patient. Patients considering a hysterectomy should ask about the options available and get details on how the procedures are performed to make an informed decision about the best type of procedure for their situation. Gynecological surgeons are also usually willing to provide referrals to colleagues for second opinions, giving patients an option to obtain more information about planned surgeries.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon311782 — On Jan 04, 2013

Are there any side effects of laser hysterectomy?

By chrisinbama — On Aug 26, 2011

I wish I was given the option of a laser hysterectomy when I had mine. However, I had an emergency hysterectomy due to an ovarian cyst that ruptured so I didn't have that option. I was out of work (worked as a paramedic) for 6 weeks because I couldn't lift, which was part of my job.

My sister recently had a laser hysterectomy and the procedure was very quick and she was back to work in just a few days.

By golf07 — On Aug 25, 2011

A good friend of mine recently had a total abdominal hysterectomy. They were not able to do a laser or laparoscopic hysterectomy on her.

She was off work for 6 weeks, and she was thankful for every one of those days. Once she recovered from the surgery, she felt much better, but the whole process took quite a while.

I think the less invasive you can be, the quicker the recovery time is going to be. Everybody heals differently, but any time you have to make a large incision, you are going to need some time for your body to heal.

By bagley79 — On Aug 24, 2011

If your doctor is recommending you have hysterectomy surgery, and you have the opportunity to have a laser or laparoscopic surgery, this is the way I would go.

I had a laser hysterectomy surgery and I was surprised at how fast I recovered. The down time was not nearly as long as I thought it would be, and the scarring was very minimal.

When I think about how long it took my mom to recover after her hysterectomy, this is a much better way to go if at all possible.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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