Abdominal hysterectomy: As the name suggests, this surgery involves an incision in your abdomen, often 5-7 inches long. It may be vertical or horizontal depending on a number of factors. The recovery time for this type of surgery tends to be the longest out of all of the options.
Vaginal hysterectomy: The surgeon will make a cut in the vagina and remove your uterus that way.
Laparoscopically-assisted vaginal hysterectomy: The uterus is still removed through a cut in the vagina but the surgeon will use a laparoscope to assist in this process. It involves 3-4 small abdominal incisions in order to insert the laparoscope. The recovery time tends to be shorter with this type of surgery. This is the procedure I had.
Robotic-assisted hysterectomy: This is also referred to as the DaVinci method. It utilizes a small robotic machine that works through small incisions similar to laparoscopic surgery.
There are numerous factors that impact which of these surgeries is best for any given patient including weight, recovery time, and the reason for the hysterectomy. I will post more about the benefits and challenges of some of these surgeries in a future post.