Laparoscopic Hysterectomy – An Introduction

Keith Reisler, MD, has cared for patients as an obstetrician and gynecologist (OBGYN) for more than 30 years. Experienced in laparoscopic hysterectomy and other minimally invasive procedures, Dr. Keith Reisler shared his knowledge of such therapies in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Traditionally, hysterectomy has involved removal of the uterus through an abdominal incision of 6 to 12 inches in length. It is a major abdominal surgery and requires approximately six weeks of recovery time. Recently, however, advancements in medical technology have allowed some surgeons to perform the procedure laparoscopically.

The laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy, or LVAH, has now been an option for patients for more than 25 years. It involves the use of a thin surgical tube that allows surgeons to perform part of the procedure intra-abdominally, but with fewer and smaller incisions, while the remainder of the procedure takes place through the vaginal canal. The total laparoscopic hysterectomy, though similar in its use of the laparoscope, is performed entirely intra-abdominally while only the tissue removal takes place transvaginally.

Experts advise patients who may be candidates for laparoscopic hysterectomy to consult with an experienced physician. The procedure is both sensitive and delicate and, as such, requires a skilled hand.