Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH) What is a Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy? For many women facing an abdominal hysterectomy, there is an alternative: laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH). LAVH takes place under general anesthesia, so the patient is unconscious throughout the procedure. A trocar (a narrow tube-like instrument) is used, and the surgeon gains access to the abdomen through the navel. A laparoscope (a tiny telescope) connected to a camera is inserted through the trocar, allowing the surgeon to view a magnified image of the patient's internal organs on a video monitor. This enables the surgeon to perform the hysterectomy as well as to diagnose and treat related conditions at the same time.