What is a LESS Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. The uterus is a muscular, pear-shaped organ that is part of the female reproductive system.  In some cases, hysterectomy also includes removing the cervix (which connects the uterus to the vagina) as well as the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.

There are several different ways to perform a hysterectomy:

  • Abdominal (also known as Open) Hysterectomy - An abdominal hysterectomy typically requires a 6 to 8 inch horizontal or vertical incision below the belly button. This is the most invasive kind of hysterectomy and is performed under general anesthesia.
  • Vaginal Hysterectomy - A vaginal hysterectomy uses a smaller incision inside the vagina to remove the uterus and other organs. The incision is not visible externally.
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy - A laparoscopic hysterectomy utilizes a thin, lighted telescope-like instrument (videolaparoscope) along with small surgical instruments to perform the procedure. The instruments are inserted through 3 to 5 small incisions to detach and remove the uterus.
  • Laparoscopic-Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy - A laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy is a combination procedure that incorporates both a laparoscopic and vaginal approach. The procedure begins with 3 to 5 small incisions in the navel and abdomen. It is then completed through incisions inside the vagina to remove the uterus and cervix.
  • Laparoendoscopic Single-Site (LESS) Hysterectomy (also called single site or single port surgery) - LESS is a laparoscopic procedure.  However, the surgeon performs the entire procedure through one single incision in the belly button.  At the end of the procedure, there is little visible evidence of having a surgery since the scar is hidden within the skin folds of the bellybutton.

Patients having LESS hysterectomy may experience less pain and require less post-operative medication to control pain after the LESS procedure is completed, allowing you to get back to your normal activities sooner.  This has been shown in several studies comparing LESS to conventional laparoscopic surgery.

In addition, since LESS involves only one incision, there is a lower risk of bleeding and infection, as this is a risk with all surgical incisions. See how LESS is performed, click here to view the video animation.

hysterectomy procedure incisions

Download the LESS Hysterectomy Patient Brochure / Español



Content Provided Courtesy of Olympus Corporation of the Americas. © 2014. For more information, visit our website at http://medical.olympusamerica.com/procedure/single-site-less-procedures

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