Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, and may be recommended for women with fibroid tumors. Each year in the U.S. alone, doctors perform approximately 600,000 hysterectomies, making it the second most common surgical procedure for women.1 In fact, 1 in 3 women will have a hysterectomy before age 60.1
Approaches to Hysterectomy
Open Hysterectomy - Surgeons perform the majority of hysterectomies using an open approach. With open surgery, your doctor makes a large abdominal incision – large enough to fit his/her hands and instruments inside your body. While open surgery allows your surgeon to see and touch your organs, there are some drawbacks for patients due to the large incision.
Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy Options
- Vaginal Hysterectomy
With vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed through the vagina, without any external incision. Surgeons may use this minimally invasive approach if the patient’s condition is benign (non-cancerous), or when the uterus is a normal size and the condition is limited to the uterus. With vaginal hysterectomy, surgeons have a small working space and lack of view to the pelvic organs.
- Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive – meaning surgeons operate through a few small incisions. During traditional laparoscopy, long-handled surgical instruments are inserted through the incisions. One of the instruments is a laparoscope – a thin, lighted tube with a tiny camera at the end. The camera takes images inside your body and those images are sent to a video monitor to guide surgeons as they operate.
- da Vinci® Hysterectomy
With a da Vinci Hysterectomy, surgeons operate through a few small incisions instead of a large open incision - similar to traditional laparoscopy. The da Vinci System features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and special wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist. As a result, da Vinci enables your doctor to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.
da Vinci is a minimally invasive approach that uses the latest in surgical and robotics technologies and is beneficial for performing complex surgery. Your surgeon is 100% in control of the da Vinci System, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body.
- Learn more about da Vinci Hysterectomy
- Womenshealth.gov. "Hysterectomy Fact Sheet". Available from: http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/hysterectomy.cfm
All surgery presents risk, including da Vinci Surgery. Results, including cosmetic results, may vary. Serious complications may occur in any surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious and life-threatening complications, which may require hospitalization, include injury to tissues or organs; bleeding; infection, and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction or pain. Temporary pain or nerve injury has been linked to the inverted position often used during abdominal and pelvic surgery. Patients should understand that risks of surgery include potential for human error and potential for equipment failure. Risks specific to minimally invasive surgery may include: a longer operative time; the need to convert the procedure to other surgical techniques; the need for additional or larger incision sites; a longer operation or longer time under anesthesia than your surgeon originally predicts. Converting the procedure to open could mean a longer operative time, long time under anesthesia, and could lead to increased complications. Research suggests that there may be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery. Patients who bleed easily, have abnormal blood clotting, are pregnant or morbidly obese are typically not candidates for minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery. Other surgical approaches are available. Patients should review the risks associated with all surgical approaches. They should talk to their doctors about their surgical experience and to decide if da Vinci is right for them. For more complete information on surgical risks, safety and indications for use, please refer to www.davincisurgery.com/da-vinci-surgery/safety-information.php.
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