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Gynecology and Obstetrics

Open Hysterectomy or Laparoscopic?

Did you know the differences and advantages of each one?

Open Hysterectomy or Laparoscopic?

Hysterectomy is a term for the surgery to remove a woman's uterus. Removing the uterus cancels out the woman's ability to get pregnant. 


There are several reasons why a woman chooses to have a Hysterectomy, among the most common:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or severe bleeding

  • Endometriosis

  • Chronic pelvic pain

  • Uterine fibroids (frequent, benign, noncancerous tumors growing in the uterus) cause bleeding, pain, or other problems

  • Cancer in the uterus (or cervix or ovaries)

  • Thickening of the uterus

  • Uterine prolapse (movement of the uterus from its normal position into the vaginal canal)

  • Among others


This surgery can be performed through the abdomen or the vagina. There are several types and methods for performing this surgery.

Types of Hysterectomy:
Depending on the reason a woman is having a hysterectomy, the surgeon will decide if the entire uterus needs to be removed or just a part of it.

  • Partial Hysterectomy: Removal of the Uterus (without removing the cervix)
  • Total Hysterectomy: removal of the uterus and cervix
  • Radical Hysterectomy: removal of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, upper vagina, and pelvic lymph nodes
Differences between Open and Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Open Hysterectomy
An open Hysterectomy is also commonly known as an Abdominal Hysterectomy. The surgeon makes a 5- to 7-inch incision across the abdomen and the uterus is removed through this incision.  The cut can be made in two ways:
  • Vertical Incision: This cut begins in the middle of the abdomen and extends from below the navel to above the pubic bone.
  • Horizontal bikini line incision: This cut is located approximately one inch above the pubic bone. 

After an open or Abdominal Hysterectomy, the patient usually spends 2 - 3 days in the Hospital for proper postoperative control. In the Abdominal Hysterectomy, the time in the operating room is less than in the Laparoscopic Hysterectomy. However, the recovery time is usually longer around 4 to 8 weeks, and after healing, there is a visible scar at the incision site.

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
This type of surgery is performed through a laparoscope. The laparoscope is a surgical instrument that consists of a thin, flexible tube with a lighted camera that is used to view the inside of the abdomen. 

In this type of operation, the Surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen (usually each cut is no longer than half an inch) and performs the surgery from outside the body, viewing the operation on a video screen.

Also, Laparoscopic Hysterectomy can be done vaginally. The surgeon removes the uterus through an incision in the vagina. If you have scar tissue in your pelvic organs as a result of previous surgery or endometriosis, the surgeon may recommend a Laparoscopic Vaginal Hysterectomy. 

Although in the Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, the time in the operating room is longer than that of an open Hysterectomy, the patient's recovery time is shorter, between 2 and 4 weeks in most women. The scars are very small, barely visible, and the time to return to your normal activities is less.

Whether you have had an Open or a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy after you leave the Hospital, contact your Doctor if you have:
  • Opening of the incision
  • Signs of infection
  • Fever and chills
  • Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or fainting
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Redness, swelling, or increasing pain at the incision site
  • Swelling and redness in the legs
  • Persistent pain, burning or bleeding when you urinate

Results after Hysterectomy:

This surgery can change many aspects of the patient's life permanently, such as:

  • You won't be able to get pregnant after this

  • Your menstrual periods will be over

  • Most likely, you will feel relieved about those symptoms that made you need a Hysterectomy. 

  • If your ovaries were removed, but you had not reached menopause, after your Hysterectomy, you will start menopause immediately

  • If you still had your menstrual periods before surgery and during your Hysterectomy, your ovaries were not removed, they will continue to produce hormones and eggs until you naturally reach menopause

  • The sense of well-being that comes after feeling relief from the symptoms that made you need a Hysterectomy can significantly improve your quality of life 

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