Vaginal Hysterectomy is surgical procedure to remove reproductive organs through an incision in the vagina. The top of the vagina is closed using dissolvable stitches. A dressing may be left in the vagina to apply pressure and stop bleeding.
Surgery time is approximately 1-2 hours. Patients stay in the hospital for 3-5 days.
Recovery time is about 6-8 weeks. More strenuous physical activities can be resumed in 3-6 months.
Vaginal Hysterectomy can only be done when the organs being removed are small enough to pull through the vagina. Removal of the ovaries is not always possible using this method.
An advantage of Vaginal Hysterectomy is that there is no visible scarring. It also has a faster healing time and less pain than Abdominal Hysterectomy. However, because the surgeon is operating through the vagina they can't see the organs very well, so there's a heightened risk of accidental internal injury.
Also see: Laparoscopically-Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH), a procedure that combines Laparoscopic Hysterectomy and Vaginal Hysterectomy.