When Hysterectomy is the SolutionA hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Advances in gynecologic treatment often provide alternatives to hysterectomy, but some situations do require the removal of the uterus. Most of the hysterectomies Dr. Morrison performs utilize laparoscopic technology that greatly reduces the patient’s recovery time.
What is a Laparoscopic Technology?Laparoscopic procedures entail the insertion of a lighted scope into the abdomen through a small incision. The scope provides a magnified view of the organs, allowing diagnostic exploration or -- with the assistance of other instruments -- the removal of the uterus and other reproductive organs, if necessary. Because laparoscopy minimizes incisions and trauma in the surgical area, patients who undergo laparoscopic hysterectomies typically leave the hospital in less than 24 hours. Most are able to drive within two weeks and return to work in three to four weeks.
Reasons for a hysterectomy can include the following:• Uterine fibroids
• Pelvic support problems (such as uterine prolapse)
• Abnormal uterine bleeding
• Chronic pelvic pain
Types of HysterectomyPartial Hysterectomy – In a partial (or supracervical) hysterectomy, the uterus is removed but the cervix is left in place. Partial hysterectomies can be performed using laparoscopy or traditional surgical methods.
Total Hysterectomy – The entire uterus, including the cervix, is removed during a total hysterectomy. Total hysterectomies can be performed using laparoscopy or traditional surgical methods.
Types of Hysterectomy ProceduresVaginal Hysterectomy – During this procedure the uterus is removed through incisions made in the vagina. As a result, no scars are left on the abdomen. Not all patients are viable candidates for a vaginal hysterectomy. For example, a vaginal hysterectomy may not be possible when a patient has an enlarged uterus. Depending on the circumstances, vaginal hysterectomies may be performed using traditional surgical methods or using laparoscopy.
Laparoscopic Supracervical (Partial) Hysterectomy – Dr. Morrison usually performs a laparoscopic partial hysterectomy when a minimal recovery period is important or the risk of infection is of particular concern. The ovaries can be removed or left in place during this procedure.
Abdominal Hysterectomy (Surgical) – This is the traditional way of performing hysterectomies and is still required in more difficult cases. During abdominal hysterectomy the uterus is removed through an incision in the lower abdomen that can be vertical or horizontal. Abdominal hysterectomy requires a longer hospital stay and longer recovery time than other types of hysterectomies.
da Vinci® Surgical System for Robotic-Assisted Hysterectomy In addition to his training in laparoscopic and traditional surgical hysterectomies, Dr. Morrison is trained and certified to perform robotic-assisted hysterectomy using the da Vinci® Surgical System. Aside from hysterectomy, the da Vinci system provides minimally-invasive surgical capabilities for treating a number of other gynecologic problems including endometriosis, heavy uterine bleeding, uterine prolapse or gynecologic cancer.