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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

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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