MONDAY, Jan. 24, 2005 (HealthDayNews) -- Women who have vaginal hysterectomies experience fewer post-surgical infections and high temperatures, have shorter hospital stays, and return to normal activities more quickly than women who have abdominal hysterectomies, a new study says.
Researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand reviewed 27 recent studies and concluded that surgeons should perform vaginal hysterectomies instead of abdominal hysterectomies whenever possible.
But, "the surgical approach to hysterectomy should be decided by a woman in discussion with her surgeon in light of the relative benefits and hazards," researcher Dr. Neil Johnson said in a prepared statement.
A vaginal hysterectomy involves removal of the uterus through the vagina. This method is usually used when the uterus is a normal size. An abdominal hysterectomy involves removal of the uterus through an incision in the abdomen. This method has traditionally been used when a woman has an enlarged uterus, malignant tumors or conditions such as endometriosis.
The study appears in the January issue of The Cochrane Library.
The U.S. National Women's Health Information Center has more about hysterectomy.