LESS Hysterectomy Treatment and Recovery

About LESS Hysterectomy

LESS stands for laparoendoscopic single site-surgery, a modern technique used to perform a variety of abdominal surgeries including LSH or TLH, and oopherectomy.

What’s different about LESS compared with other surgical techniques is that the entire procedure is performed through one small cut (incision) in the bellybutton, medically referred to as the umbilicus. The incision is about ½ inch in length - smaller than a dime—leaving behind a scar that is barely noticeable since it’s hidden in the contours of the bellybutton (see diagram).

Hysterectomy Procedure Incisions

Click here to view a video about hysterectomy via the LESS approach.

Benefits of LESS Hysterectomy

LESS is a form of laparoscopic surgery. Compared to an abdominal (open) hysterectomy that requires a large incision, patients overall have a shorter hospital stay, and faster and easier recovery period. 

In addition to the cosmetic benefits of LESS and shortened recovery period, recent medical evidence shows that LESS hysterectomy can also be associated with less pain and a lower need for narcotics to control pain after surgery compared to traditional laparoscopic hysterectomy.1-3

Gynecologic surgeons around the country perform LESS hysterectomy and oopherectomy. Click here to visit our LESS surgeon finder. If you do not locate a surgeon in your area, ask your doctor to refer you to a trusted, experienced surgeon at a local medical facility that offers LESS hysterectomy.

To hear from doctors who perform LESS hysterectomy, click here.

LESS is not for everyone.  As with any type of surgery, there are risks. Talk with your doctor about hysterectomy options to see if you might be a good candidate for LESS hysterectomy.

To learn more about hysterectomy options, click here to view our educational brochure.

LESS Hysterectomy versus Robotic Hysterectomy

LESS hysterectomy is different from robotic surgery. While both are minimally invasive procedures, LESS requires a smaller incision than single incision robotic hysterectomy. LESS is also far less expensive than robotic surgery and takes less time to perform.

There is a limited amount of published medical evidence comparing LESS hysterectomy to robotic hysterectomy. However, one study involving 150 women showed a higher complication rate with robotic hysterectomy (5.3%, or approximately 1 of every 20 patients) when compared with LESS (1.3%, or roughly 1 out of every 100 patients). In addition, robotic hysterectomy took, on average, almost three hours (175 minutes) wherein LESS hysterectomy averaged just over two hours (122 minutes).4

A recent medical study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that in over 2000 procedures performed, robotic hysterectomy cost an average of $2,200 more per procedure without demonstrating any added medical benefit.5 Furthermore, the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (the medical society of gynecologic surgeons), as a general rule, they do not medically support the use of robotic hysterectomy to treat patients for benign (non-cancerous) gynecologic conditions.6


1. Park JY, Kim DY, Suh DS, Kim JH, Nam JH. Laparoendoscopic Single-Site Versus Conventional Laparoscopic Surgical Staging for Early-Stage Endometrial Cancer. International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. Volume 24, Number 2, February 2014.
2. Fanfani F, Fagotti A, Rossitto C, Gagliardi ML, Ercoli A, Gallotta V, Gueli Alletti S, Monterossi G, Turco LC, Scambia G. Laparoscopic, mini-laparoscopic and single-port hysterectomy: perioperative outcomes. Surg Endosc. 2012 Dec; 26(12):3592-6.
3. Fagotti A, Bottoni C, Vizzielli G, Alletti SG, Scambia G, Marana E, Fanfani F (2011) Postoperative pain after conventional laparoscopy and laparoendoscopic single site surgery (LESS) for benign adnexal disease: a randomized trial. Fertil Steril 96:255–259.
4. Fagotti, A et al.  Perioperative outcomes of total laparoendoscopic single-site hysterectomy versus total robotic hysterectomy in endometrial cancer patients: A multicentre study. Gynecol Oncol 2012;125(3):552-55.
5. Wright, J, et al. Robotically Assisted vs Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Among Women With Benign Gynecologic Disease. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2013;309(7):689-698.
6. AAGL Position Statement: Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery in Benign Gynecology. Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology 2013; 20(1):1-9.

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Do You Need a Hysterectomy?

If you are considering hysterectomy, you're not alone. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, about one-third of American women will have a hysterectomy by the time they are sixty years of age. Over 615,000 women in the United States will undergo a hysterectomy this year.

Discover Less Invasive Options

Today's hysterectomy choices include innovative, minimally invasive procedures that can be modified by your doctor to address the treatment and relief of your symptoms. These new advanced surgical techniques reduce the pain and minimize the scarring from surgery, require only one day in the hospital, and get you back to your normal routine in less than a week on average.

Click here for more information about risks and complications associated with surgery.

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