Laparoscopic hysterectomy: challenges and limitations.


Twenty years after the first description of vaginal hysterectomy with laparoscopic assistance by Kurt Semm in 1984 (1), and 16 years after the publication of the so-called laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) by Harry Reich in 1989 (2), it is time to review and evaluate the real benefits of laparoscopic hysterectomy. Although laparoscopic surgery is well accepted by gynaecologists worldwide for the treatment of certain gynaecological conditions, laparoscopic hysterectomy in Germany, and probably worldwide, is still only performed by a few specialists. Highly skilled surgical techniques, longer operating time and expensive technology are suggested to be the deterring factors. Laparoscopic hysterectomy, in its different forms, is an attractive and safe procedure for the management of benign gynaecological conditions and many authorities recommend its use on a larger extent. On the other hand, in our opinion, the use of laparoscopic hysterectomy for oncological indications is still controversial. Extensive experience of over 15 years, of the first author, in practising and teaching various forms laparoscopic hysterectomy, namely, laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH), total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH), classic intrafascial supracervical hysterectomy (CISH) and laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy (LSH), has led us to the firm conclusion that these techniques are advantageous to patients if performed for the appropriate indication. In particular, subtotal or supracervical hysterectomy, with the cervix remaining in its place, is associated with fewer complications and a very favourable outcome for the patient. Radical laparoscopic vaginal hysterectomy (RLVH), the last variant in our exposé, is only successful in an expert's hands. The surgical techniques of these varieties of laparoscopic hysterectomies will be described and illustrated in detail in this paper.

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@article{Mettler2005LaparoscopicHC, title={Laparoscopic hysterectomy: challenges and limitations.}, author={Liselotte Mettler and N Ahmed-Ebbiary and Th Schollmeyer}, journal={Minimally invasive therapy & allied technologies : MITAT : official journal of the Society for Minimally Invasive Therapy}, year={2005}, volume={14 3}, pages={145-59} }