Hysterectomy: Types of Surgical Incisions

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Topic Overview

Your surgeon will recommend one or more types of hysterectomy. (You may or may not have a choice, depending on your condition.) An abdominal hysterectomy requires a larger surgical cut (incision). A vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy uses small incisions.

Abdominal hysterectomy. Two types of surgical cuts are used for this type of hysterectomy.

  • A midline incision is made from just below the belly button straight down the belly to just above the pubic hairline.
  • A transverse incision (bikini line) is made just above the pubic hairline.

Vaginal hysterectomy. With this type, the cuts made to remove the uterus are made on the inside of the vagina.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy. With this type, small cuts are made in the belly. These allow the surgeon to insert a small viewing tool (laparoscope) and surgical tools.

The vaginal and laparoscopic techniques are sometimes combined.

Laparoscopic surgery that is done using only one incision is called a laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (LESS) or single-port surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is also done using robotic equipment.

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ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofMarch 12, 2014