Hysterectomy: Types of Surgical Incisions

Hysterectomy: Types of Surgical Incisions

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 incision. A vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy uses small incisions.

Abdominal hysterectomy. Two types of surgical incisions are used for an abdominal hysterectomy.

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

Vaginal hysterectomy. During a vaginal hysterectomy, the incisions to remove the uterus are made on the inside of the vagina.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy. To allow insertion of a small viewing instrument ( laparoscope ) and surgical instruments, small incisions are made in the abdomen.

The vaginal and laparoscopic techniques are sometimes combined.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last RevisedJanuary 9, 2012

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