Hysterectomy – the surgical removal of the uterus – is the second most common surgical procedure for women – the most common procedure being childbirth by Cesarean section. Some 600,000 women undergo hysterectomies each year in the United States. Unfortunately, it’s also true that one in every three women in the U.S. will have a hysterectomy before her 60th birthday.
Open Abdominal Hysterectomy
Up until recently, an open abdominal hysterectomy was the only option available to many women with lymph nodes, fibroids, or cancer. In an open hysterectomy, a 6-12 inch incision is made on the abdomen. Of course, the risks were high for this kind of procedure and it would take months before the patient would feel back to normal.
Because of the challenges presented by open abdominal hysterectomies, many surgeons began offering vaginal hysterectomies. In this procedure, the uterus is removed through the vagina and there’s no external incision or scarring.
If the uterus has enlarged beyond its normal, healthy size and/or the patient’s condition has spread beyond the uterus, this method may not be an option. Also, the procedure proves difficult when the patient has a narrow pubic arch, severe endometriosis, or scar tissue from previous surgeries (as is often the case with women who have had C-sections).
With open and vaginal hysterectomies not providing sufficient solutions, many surgeons branched out into laparoscopic hysterectomy. In this process, 3-5 small incisions are made in the abdomen, through which small instruments are inserted. The surgeon uses an endoscope to see the precise areas she’s operating on during the process.
While the laparoscopic option is the best available option in some areas of the country, it still leaves something to be desired. Surgeons are limited by their tools and the 2D visualizations provided by the endoscope.
da Vinci Hysterectomy
Fortunately, women in Houston have an option that not many others do with the da Vinci hysterectomy procedure. Using the da Vinci Surgical System, your surgeon will make tiny 1-2 centimeter incisions. The surgeon is then able to operate the system’s incredibly responsive arms and tools, using handheld controls that resemble actual surgical tools.
The da Vinci System’s arms are just as sensitive as an actual human hand, but more effective, allowing the surgeon to perform tasks that are impossible under ordinary human constraints. Surgeons enjoy benefits such as the ability to rotate their tools a full 360º and view the interior of the patient’s body in 3D on high-definition monitors.
The end result is a less painful, more effective treatment option, with incredibly fast recovery rates. To find a surgeon who can tell you more about the daVinci Surgical System, please call 713.757.7575.