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A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Hysterectomies are performed for a wide variety of reasons. A hysterectomy is major surgery, but with new technological advances, the discomfort, risk of infection and recovery time has all been decreased.
There are currently three surgical approaches to hysterectomies. These include:
- Open, traditional hysterectomy. This involves a six to twelve inch incision made in the abdominal wall.
- Vaginal Hysterectomy. This involves removing the uterus through the vagina. This approach is better than the open, traditional hysterectomy, but still does not allow the surgeon a full view of the surrounding organs, including the bladder.
- Robotic-Assisted Radical Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy. Using a state-of-the art robotic platform allows the surgeon a full view of the surrounding organs and more precise control over incisions.
• Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy. This is when a portion of the operation (intra-abdominal) is completed with the laparoscope and the remainder of the operation (vaginal incision, excision of cervical tissues) is completed transvaginally.
• Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy. When the entire operation is performed using the laparoscope and the surgical specimen is removed via the vagina.
Benefits of a Robotic-Assisted Radical Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
da Vinci Hysterectomy offers numerous potential benefits over traditional approaches to vaginal, laparoscopic or open abdominal hysterectomy, particularly when performing more challenging procedures like radical hysterectomy for gynecologic cancer.
Potential benefits include:
- Significantly less pain
- Less blood loss
- Fewer complications
- Less scarring
- A shorter hospital stay
- A faster return to normal daily activities
- Decreased risk of infection
Fewer complications, Preserved Functionality for Organs
Robotic-Assisted Hysterectomy also allows your surgeon better visualization of your anatomy, which is especially critical when working around delicate and confined structures like the bladder. This means that surgeons have a distinct advantage when performing a complex, radical hysterectomy involving adhesions from prior pelvic surgery or non-localized cancer, or an abdominal hysterectomy.
Treatment of Uterine Cancer (Endometrial Cancer)
Robotic-Assisted surgery provides the surgeon with a superior surgical tool for dissection and removal of lymph nodes during cancer operations, as compared to traditional open or minimally invasive approaches. At the Johns Hopkins Hospital, our surgeons also perform a pelvic lymphadenectomy with staging during a hysterectomy for suspected or confirmed gynecological cancers. By performing this at the same time as the hysterectomy, our physicians receive real time critical information that may affect the surgery and treatment.
What you should expect from this surgery
Robotic-Assisted Radical Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy usually takes 1-3 hours under general anesthesia. You will be hospitalized for at least one night so your physicians can monitor your healing progress. Most patients return to normal daily activities within one week. Your physician will give you detailed instructions so your recovery is unremarkable.
Choosing Robotic-Assisted Radical Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Our surgeons are committed to providing the best treatment option for every individual patient. While radical hysterectomy or abdominal hysterectomy performed using robotic-assisted surgery is considered safe and effective, these procedures may not be appropriate for every patient. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.