Hysterectomies are the second most common surgery for women of reproductive age in the United States, right behind cesarean sections. When women develop problems from childbirth, invasive cancers, and other issues, performing this surgery to remove the uterus may be an option.
If you need a hysterectomy, Dr. Richard Farnam at Texas Urogynecology and Laser Surgery Center has years of experience performing this procedure safely and with minimally invasive methods. When you have to consider this surgery, we can help you understand your options.
Understanding a hysterectomy
A hysterectomy can be partial or supracervical, which is the removal of your uterus, or total, which is the removal of both your uterus and cervix. Some cases call for a radical hysterectomy, which removes your uterus and surrounding tissue, your cervix, and part of your vagina. Women may consider having hysterectomy done for many reasons, including:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Unmanageable vaginal bleeding
- Uterine, ovarian, or cervical cancer
- Fibroids or uterine tumors
- Endometriosis, in which the uterine lining grows outside of the uterine wall
- Adenomyosis, in which the uterine lining grows into the muscles of the uterus
Hysterectomies are performed either abdominally, where incisions are made into and the uterus removed through the abdomen, or vaginally, where the uterus is removed through the vagina. Either approach can be done in a few different ways. Dr. Farnam is an expert in minimally invasive hysterectomies, which means you can avoid the lengthy downtime, more painful recovery, and severe scarring of traditional, open hysterectomy.
This method is so named because of the use of a laparoscope. Your surgeon uses this long, thin, tube-shaped device with a high-resolution camera attached to guide the procedure with precision. Your surgical team views the images from the camera on a larger screen during the procedure to guide the safe removal of your uterus, often in smaller pieces, through small incisions.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy is done with small cuts through your abdomen — the scope is often inserted through a small incision in your belly button — or it can be done vaginally. It is generally an outpatient surgery that has low risks of infection and blood loss compared with traditional, open surgery.
With minimally invasive robotic hysterectomy, the instruments used in the surgery are computer-controlled remotely. Your surgeon also uses a laparoscope, which is attached to the robot arms. Dr. Farnam uses the da Vinci®️ Surgical System during robotic surgeries for its excellent precision and control.
Once you’re anesthetized, the three small incisions are made, and laparoscope is inserted through one of them, your surgeon moves to a control area to remotely perform the surgery. The small robotic arms simulate hand movements with increased surgical dexterity.
After either type of surgery, you can expect to take pain medication, and you need to take it easy on stressful activities for a few weeks. Recovery for the laparoscopic procedure is usually within about three weeks and the robotic procedure can take a few weeks to a few months.
If you need a hysterectomy, make an appointment with Dr. Farnam at Texas Urogynecology and Laser Surgery Center to find the best options that fit your specific needs. Call today to schedule a consultation or use our online booking tool.