Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH) Surgery
LAVH surgery is a minimally invasive procedure to remove the uterus and/or Fallopian tubes (hysterectomy) through the vagina.
At A Glance: Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH) Surgery
Also Known As
Inpatient or Outpatient
Typical Recovery Time
2 – 6 Weeks
Typical Price Range
Tell Me About The Surgery
Procedure Research and Consultation
How is LAVH surgery done?
LAVH surgery is minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, in which your surgeon will perform a hysterectomy—a surgical procedure to remove the uterus—through small incisions in your abdomen.
What issue does LAVH surgery solve?
Surgeons perform hysterectomies to address a number of problems that can occur in a woman’s reproductive system. Reasons to consider a hysterectomy include heavy periods caused by fibroids; pelvic pain caused by endometriosis; pelvic inflammatory disease (PID); uterine prolapse; precancerous growths; and other conditions affecting the uterus.
Do I have options for anesthesia for LAVH surgery?
LAVH surgery is performed with general anesthesia.
How do I know LAVH surgery is right for me?
If you’re experiencing chronic pain or excessive bleeding and hormones or other, more conservative treatments haven’t worked, you may be a candidate for LAVH surgery. Ask your doctor if LAVH surgery might benefit you.
How safe is LAVH surgery?
LAVH surgery is generally safe and effective. You should also know that Hancock Regional Hospital has been rated one of the safest hospitals in America by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit health care watchdog organization; and was named the safest hospital in Indiana on the Lown Institute Hospital Index.
What are possible side effects and complications of LAVH surgery?
After a hysterectomy, you will no longer have your period, and you won’t be able to get pregnant. Early menopause is possible. Other complications and side effects of a hysterectomy include fever and infection, bleeding, blood clots, obstruction of the bowels, and nerve or tissue damage. Hysterectomy could also cause a fistula, which is an abnormal connection between organs. Long-term effects could include vaginal dryness, decreased sex drive, and pain during sex.
What are the alternatives to LAVH surgery?
The LAVH procedure is not right for all patients who require a hysterectomy, and an open surgery may be recommended. Depending on the reason you’re considering a hysterectomy, other alternatives may include endometrial ablation, uterine artery embolization (UAE), and medications.
What are the risks of not having LAVH surgery?
If you don’t have a hysterectomy, symptoms such as pain and heavy bleeding will likely continue and may get worse. Ask your doctor if LAVH surgery may be right for you.
What kind of outcome is typical for LAVH surgery?
LAVH surgery is very effective, with a success rate of about 95%.
Consultation and Choosing A Surgeon or Surgical Team
Do I need a referral to see a surgeon about LAVH surgery?
Your health insurance provider may require you to get a referral from your primary care provider to see a surgeon about LAVH surgery.
What should I bring to my first appointment with a surgeon to talk about LAVH surgery?
Insurance information Medical records, including your medical history, from your primary care physician
Do I have to get a second or third opinion for LAVH surgery?
You can always get a second or third opinion, but it isn’t required.
How should I decide which surgeon’s advice to follow?
You should work with the surgeon with whom you feel comfortable, whether that’s one of our surgeons or not.
Will the surgical team know my health history?
Your health history will be compiled and available to the team before, during, and after surgery. If you’re a Hancock Health patient, we will be able to access your records within our system. If you aren’t, we’ll work with your doctors to get the necessary information.
Why might I have to wait to schedule LAVH surgery?
In some cases it takes time for a patient’s body to be ready for surgery—for example, if you have another medical issue including another surgical procedure or an illness—we might wait to schedule surgery. Your health and safety are our top priorities, so we schedule surgeries when they’re best for our patients.
Insurance & Cost
Will insurance cover LAVH surgery?
In most cases, insurance will cover most of the costs associated with medically necessary LAVH surgery. To get an idea of what LAVH surgery might cost, use our Price Estimator Tool.
How much does LAVH surgery cost?
Consult the Price Transparency Tool at HancockRegionalHospital.org for an idea of how much LAVH surgery might cost.
What are payment options like for LAVH surgery at Hancock Health?
Hancock Health is committed to helping make great care affordable for all patients. To find out more about payment options, please visit the billing and insurance FAQ page at HancockRegionalHospital.org.
Pre-op and Day of Surgery
How should I prepare for LAVH surgery?
You’ll be instructed not to eat anything after midnight on the day of your surgery, and you might also be told to stop taking certain medications or dietary supplements.
Why can’t I eat before surgery?
There’s a risk of aspiration, which means breathing foreign objects, like food or saliva, into your lungs. This can occur because the anesthetic for surgery can impair your body’s ability to stop the contents of your stomach from entering your lungs.
What should I expect right before LAVH surgery ?
You’ll arrive an hour before your surgery and be escorted to the preoperative waiting area.You’ll remove all of your clothing and jewelry, and put on a hospital gown. (Your valuables will be placed in a secure area or may be given to a family member.) You’ll sign any necessary paperwork and a preoperative nurse will take your vital signs, review your medications, and answer any questions.You’ll meet your surgery team and they’ll mark the location of the surgery on your body. An I.V. (intravenous line) will be placed in your hand or arm, so medications—including general anesthesia—can be administered.When it’s time for your surgery, you will be wheeled into the operating suite on a stretcher.
Will I need someone to take me home after LAVH surgery?
For your safety and the safety of other motorists, you willneed someone to drive you home. If you don’t have a ride, we’ll help you arrange one.
Why are there so many people on my surgery team?
In addition to the surgeon, you have an anesthesiologist, nurses—some of them specialize in working with patients and others assist the surgeon—and support staff, who will check you in and out, compile your records, and more. They all work together, performing their individual jobs, so the procedure is as successful as possible.
Why am I asked for my name and date of birth every time I get medicine?
It’s a safety precaution to make sure you’re receiving the medication that’s prescribed for you.
What do I need to bring to the hospital the day of my LAVH surgery?
Although some patients can go home the same day, LAVH surgery typically requires an overnight hospital stay. You should bring everything you’ll need for a night or two in the hospital, including changes of underwear, glasses or contacts, headphones, and your medications.
How long does it take the anesthesia to wear off?
It takes about an hour for general anesthesia to wear off, but you may notice the effects for a day or so.
What will happen during LAVH surgery?
Your pelvic area may be shaved, and you’ll be given anesthesia. When you’re asleep, your surgeon will make a small incision in your belly and insert a small camera (laparoscope) to view the operation on a monitor, and a harmless gas will be put into your abdomen to expand the area around your organs. If your surgeon thinks the LAVH surgery can be accomplished successfully, other small incisions will be made to small tools—scissors, forceps, clamps, and others—can be inserted. Your surgeon will cut the uterus from the vagina and remove the uterus through the cut. The cuts are then all closed with stitches, and the operation is complete.
When will my family be informed about how I’m doing?
Our associates will get information from the surgical team in the operating room during your surgery and keep your family updated.
How long will LAVH surgery take?
LAVH surgery typically takes two to three hours.
How long will I be under for LAVH surgery?
You will be anesthetized during the entire procedure and a few minutes afterward.
How long will I be in the hospital after LAVH surgery?
You should expect to spend a day or two recovering in the hospital after LAVH surgery.
What can I expect right after LAVH surgery?
Immediately following surgery, you’ll spend time in the recovery room and receive pain medication. You’ll then be taken to your hospital room where you will be able to see friends or family who came with you.
How will I know if the LAVH surgery worked?
Your surgeon will discuss your procedure with you. Successful surgery will stop your period and should relieve the pain or other symptoms you’ve experienced.
When will I get to talk to my surgeon after surgery?
You’ll be able to talk to your surgeon after your procedure, in the recovery room or your hospital room.
How soon after LAVH surgery will I be up and moving around?
You will likely have a short hospital stay after LAVH surgery.
Will I receive pain medication right after LAVH surgery?
In most cases, patients receive pain medication immediately following surgery.
How soon after LAVH surgery can I eat or drink?
Most women can start eating normally a few hours after LAVH surgery. You may be asked to follow a clear fluid diet for a short time. After that, you should be able to return to solid foods—but easy-to-digest items, including soups, pudding, and yogurt, are recommended.
Will I need to fill any prescriptions or take medication after LAVH surgery?
You may be prescribed pain medication, anticoagulants, antibiotics, and/or other symptom-reducing medications after surgery.
Recovery and Follow-Up
How should I prepare to recover from LAVH surgery at home?
You should be able to return to fairly normal activity, including going up and down stairs, after your LAVH surgery. Follow all postoperative instructions provided by your surgeon. You should expect some minor vaginal bleeding or discharge, and you should refrain from sex for a few weeks after surgery. You should not use a tampon, or put anything into your vagina, until you are fully healed.
If I need physical therapy or rehabilitation after LAVH surgery, how is that arranged?
Most people don’t need physical therapy or rehab following LAVH surgery.
Will I need any follow-up appointments or procedures after LAVH surgery?
You’ll have an appointment with your surgeon about two weeks after your surgery to check on results and discuss any issues you might be having.
Will there be any scarring or stitches to remove after LAVH surgery?
In most cases, dissolvable stitches will be used and won’t need to be removed. If stitches need to be removed, your doctor will most likely remove them at your first postoperative appointment. There will be scars where the incisions were made.
What do I need to have to care for any wounds or incisions?
You’ll need fresh dressings but you won’t need antibiotic ointment, as putting it on the incisions is unnecessary.
How do I care for my incision at home?
Change your dressing daily, starting two days after you leave the hospital. Don’t scrub the incision area.You may remove your dressing and shower the day after your surgery if there is no drainage from your incision. Carefully pat the incision dry after your shower and reapply the dressing.For about two weeks, don’t submerge your incision in water by taking a bath or getting in a pool or hot tub. When the incisions are completely healed, feel free to resume those activities.
When should I call my doctor after LAVH surgery?
Call your doctor if you experience fever or chills; heavy vaginal discharge or bleeding; redness, bleeding, or discharge around an incision; problems with urination or bowel movements; or extreme pain.
When will I be able to get back to work after LAVH surgery?
You should plan to take at least a couple of weeks off from work after LAVH surgery. Typical recovery time is between two and six weeks.
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