A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus and is most often performed for patients with abnormal uterine bleeding or pain. This is the second most common procedure for women in the US and is performed over 600,000 times each year. A hysterectomy is a definitive treatment option when more conservative measures are not successful.
A traditional hysterectomy is performed through large incisions in the abdomen. But new technology now allows for a simpler and less invasive procedure that leaves the patient with less pain, less operative risk and shorter recovery time.
A laparoscopic hysterectomy uses tiny incisions in the abdomen where the doctor inserts a small camera and uses other surgical instruments to carefully separate and then remove the uterus.
Your doctor may recommend removal of your cervix especially if you have a history of abnormal pap smears or you may consider a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy, which leaves the cervix intact. Your doctor will help you decide which option is best for you.
After a laparoscopic hysterectomy, patients can usually return home the same day. Most patients can usually resume their normal activities within a week or two, although strenuous physical activity should be avoided for longer. Recovery is much faster and less painful than that experienced after a traditional hysterectomy. In fact you are encouraged to increase your activities daily as this will actually help with a faster recovery and prevent complications.
Risks and Complications
While laparoscopic hysterectomy is considered a safe procedure for many patients, there are certain risks associated with any type of surgery. Some of these risks may include bleeding, need for blood transfusion, infection, and reactions to anesthesia, as well as damage to the surrounding organs.
Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System is performed through tiny incisions rather than a large incision as with traditional gynecologic surgery. The robotic arms of the system’s console carry surgical instruments and a camera to the targeted area and perform the procedure under the complete control of the surgeon. The da Vinci robot is basically another instrument that the surgeon uses to complete your surgery. The surgeon views a magnified, three dimensional view of the operative field and the robotic arms precisely mimic the movements of the surgeon’s arms.
These features provide many advantages over traditional open surgery and include:
Shorter recovery time
Less risk of infection
Some of the procedures that we perform with the da Vinci Surgical System include:
da Vinci Hysterectomy – which is the surgical removal of the uterus and is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the US. This may include removal of just the uterus or the uterus and cervix, and is traditionally performed vaginally or abdominally.
da Vinci Myomectomy – to treat uterine fibroids which are benign tumors that grow within the uterus. While many treatments are available to remove fibroids, only surgery allows for complete removal and da Vinci myomectomy allows for a faster recovery with less complications.
Risks and Complications
While da Vinci Robotic surgery is considered a safe procedure for many patients, there are certain risks associated with any type of surgery. Some of these may include bleeding, need for blood transfusion, infection, and reactions to anesthesia, as well as damage to the surrounding organs.
Endometrial ablation is a procedure for women suffering from excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding who have not responded to other treatments and who do not wish to undergo a hysterectomy. Depending upon the size of your uterus and depending upon the cause of your bleeding, you may not be a candidate for an ablation. Endometrial ablation scars the uterine lining which reduces or stops future periods.
Endometrial ablation is a short outpatient treatment and recovery time may vary from a few days to weeks. Symptoms of recovery include cramping, a small amount of watery discharge mixed with blood and passage of tissue. Because endometrial ablation destroys the lining of the uterus, the procedure is not for women who still wish to become pregnant.