Hysterectomy is the second most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States. The indications for hysterectomy have changed little over the last decade. In spite of a large number of potential alternatives to hysterectomy for the management of benign disease, hysterectomy rates have remained relatively stable. The informed consent process for hysterectomy requires discussion of several important considerations, such as the risks and benefits of prophylactic oophorectomy and the need for removal of the cervix. The preponderance of studies on hysterectomy outcomes has shown improvement of pelvic symptoms and quality of life. Attention to perioperative details such as prophylactic antibiotics and prevention of venous thromboembolic events are important to assure a safe outcome. Laparotomy is still the most common route for hysterectomy. Large prospective controlled trials and a Cochrane review have clearly shown that vaginal hysterectomy is the surgical route of choice for hysterectomy. In our experience, previous cesarean delivery, large uterus, or request for removing the ovaries are not valid reasons for excluding vaginal hysterectomy as an approach.
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