Hysterectomies are the second most common surgery among American women, second only to cesarean sections. A hysterectomy, which is performed approximately 600,000 times a year in the U.S., is the surgical removal of the uterus or womb to treat several different uterine conditions.
Minimally Invasive Approach
There are several approaches to hysterectomies, with the least invasive being a vaginal hysterectomy. Surgeons typically use this procedure if the patient’s condition is benign, the uterus is normal size and the condition is limited to the uterus.
But if a patient’s case is more severe, many surgeons are turning to the newest minimally invasive approach, using the da Vinci® surgical system.
Difficult cases often include patients who are obese, ones who have had prior surgery, prior infections, a larger uterus, large ovarian cysts, ovarian tumors and large fibroid tumors. In the past, most of those cases were treated with an open approach which is through a large incision of approximately 8 inches.
Risk Factors of Open Approach
- Higher risk of bleeding
- Higher incident of infection
- Longer hospital stays (3-5 days)
- Longer recovery
- Larger scar
“The advantage of da Vinci® robotics is it’s almost like doing the open surgery with a smaller incision,” said Meenakshi Jain, MD, who performs robotic surgery at St. Petersburg General Hospital. “The other advantage is blood loss is very minimal.”
Advantages of da Vinci ®
- Smaller incision (4-5 incisions approximately 5mm)
- Minimal blood loss
- Minimal pain
- Shorter hospital stay (24 hours)
- Faster recovery
“After I do the surgery, I see my patients in four to seven days for a post operative checkup. I am amazed at how much less their pain is compared to traditional surgery, and how much better they are doing,” Dr. Jain said, adding many can drive within those seven days and can return to work at a sit-down job within a week to 10 days compared to six weeks with a traditional procedure.
For more information about robotic surgery, log onto our website at www.StPeteGeneral.com or contact Dr. Jain through our online physician directory. Consult-A-Nurse can also answer your questions at 1-877-4-HCA-DOCS (1-877-442-2362).