During a laparoscopic hysterectomy, a surgeon removes a woman's uterus with the aid of a small camera, explains Kaiser Permanente. The surgeon makes a small incision in the belly button, through which he inserts the camera, as well as two to three small incisions in the lower abdominal region.
A laparoscopic hysterectomy may or may not involve removal of the woman's ovaries, notes Kaiser Permanente. When the procedure includes ovary removal, the patient must take hormones following the surgery and may experience hot flashes. However, removal of the ovaries can be beneficial if the patient has an abnormal growth on an ovary or is concerned about a familial history of ovarian cancer.
The patient also has the option to have the surgeon remove her cervix at the time of the laparoscopic hysterectomy, states Kaiser Permanente. It is somewhat safer to leave the cervix in place, but women who choose to do so have a small chance of experiencing monthly spotting rather than getting rid of their menstrual cycles completely. Women who opt out of cervix removal must also continue to receive regular pap smears from their doctors.
Laparoscopic hysterectomies are less invasive than traditional hysterectomies, according to Kaiser Permanente. Patients who undergo laparoscopic hysterectomies can usually go home the same day as the procedure, while those who receive traditional hysterectomies must remain in the hospital for about two to three days.