In vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed through the vagina. This type of hysterectomy is ideal for patients with uterine prolapse,cervical dysplasia and endometrial hyperplasia. Throughout this procedure, a woman is required to have her legs raised up, with her feet securely placed on a stirrup device. Because the vagina is the means in which the uterus is removed, this procedure is not recommended to women with a small vaginal canal and who have not gone through vaginal childbirth. Women with a uterus that is too large, or those that cannot have their legs raised up for a long period of time are also not advised to undergo vaginal hysterectomy.
A laparoscopy, a thin viewing tube that has a magnifying glass-like material at its end, may be used during vaginal hysterectomy. This device enables the doctor to inspect thoroughly the entire abdomen while the procedure is being done. Laparoscopy-assisted vaginal hysterectomy is required among patients that are in the early stage of endometrial cancer (to check the lack of spread of cancer) or if a woman is to undergo oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries).
Since there is no external incision made, there is no scarring after vaginal hysterectomy is performed. A woman who has undergone this procedure is still able to bear a child. Recovery time is also shorter because of the absence of any incision, thus it is less expensive (although laparoscopy-assisted vaginal hysterectomy is more expensive).
The only downside of this surgical procedure is that it can lead to painful or uncomfortable sexual intercourse, due to the shortening or tightening of the vagina that is done during surgery.