Each year in the United States, more than 400,000 women undergo a hysterectomy to improve their health and/or their quality of life. While surgery of any kind is a serious undertaking, minimally invasive surgical techniques are greatly improving the process and the outcome.
Here at Chicago Center for Women’s Health, our team, which is led by leading urogynecologist Denise Molina Furlong, MD, prides itself on offering women state-of-the-art care. This care extends to our surgical options, including the hysterectomy.
Here, we review five benefits of a minimally invasive hysterectomy.
Less collateral damage
With a minimally invasive hysterectomy, we turn to a technique called laparoscopy, which relies on a small, lighted camera and specialized tools that translate the movement of our hands in small spaces.
Since these instruments are so small and we don’t need to have direct visual and manual access to the surgical site, we only make very small incisions.
Conversely, with an open abdominal hysterectomy, we used to have to make a fairly large incision across your lower abdomen, creating a good deal of collateral tissue damage.
Better still, in many cases, we can go in laparoscopically through your vagina to perform the hysterectomy.
Improving the surgical experience
While less tissue damage is good for you, it also benefits us. Instead of needing to push aside tissue, we simply thread the laparoscope through to the surgical site. Once in position, the camera delivers a high-def, 360-degree view of the area that’s magnified on a monitor, giving us a clearer picture.
If we’re using robotic-assisted technology, we also benefit from more precision and accuracy with the robotic arms that we use to do the work.
Since the incisions are kept to minimum during a minimally invasive hysterectomy, there’s less bleeding, and your risks for infection are reduced.
Shorter hospital stay
With an open hysterectomy, women had to spend a few days in the hospital to recover. With a minimally invasive hysterectomy, this time is greatly reduced or eliminated. In fact, we perform many simple laparoscopic hysterectomies on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home on the same day.
We’ve saved the best benefit for last: Your recovery period is greatly shortened and improved. We understand that you don’t want to be sidelined by a surgery, and because we use laparoscopy for your hysterectomy, you will heal more quickly and there’s generally far less postoperative discomfort.
In one study, researchers found that the laparoscopic hysterectomy led to improved quality of life during the early postoperative period relative to an abdominal hysterectomy.
Since many women come to us with painful conditions that we need to resolve through a hysterectomy, the last thing they want to do is to prolong the discomfort. In using minimally invasive techniques, we’re able to keep discomfort to a minimum.
Of course, we understand that laparoscopy or no, a hysterectomy is still surgery and you may still have some questions. To get answers, please contact us at one of our two locations in Bedford Park or Oak Lawn, Illinois, to set up an appointment.