Center for Advanced GynecologyMinimally Invasive Hysterectomies
Nearly all women who need a hysterectomy are candidates for the procedure
One of the most common surgeries among women in the United States is a hysterectomy, which is surgery to remove a woman’s uterus and, in some cases, the fallopian tubes and ovaries as well.
But women considering the surgery will often delay it for years as they struggle with the decision. They fear a long recovery time, the pain, the missed days of work, or even the scar that will remain.
The minimally invasive hysterectomy involves a tiny incision, usually at the bellybutton, and the use of a small camera to do the procedure. It can help alleviate many of the fears women have about getting the procedure done.
“Women are afraid of hysterectomies,” says Dr. Pollard, who is renowned for the advanced technique. “The most common fear is the scarring or that it will impact their sex life. I see patients who come in for a second opinion. They’ve been told that that their hysterectomy would require a C-section type incision and women are unhappy with that.”
With a minimally invasive, laparoscopic hysterectomy recovery time is significantly reduced.
“The recovery is much quicker,” Dr. Pollard says. “Most patients go home the same day or some choose to stay in the hospital overnight and go home the next morning."
The procedure is done on an outpatient basis.
“Most patients are fine to go back to work after about 10 days to two weeks,” Dr. Pollard says. “Otherwise, if they have an open incision, it’s about two or three days in the hospital and about six weeks before most people are back to work.”
Women are advised by their doctors to get a hysterectomy for a variety of reasons.
“The most common reason is for large fibroids, which are muscle tumors in the uterus, that cause a lot of pain, bleeding or pressure,’ Dr. Pollard says. “The other reasons are heavy bleeding, chronic pelvic pain or endometriosis.”
But women will often endure these medical issues for years.
“Women have fears about the surgery and the incision,” Dr. Pollard says. “They are afraid of scarring, or that it will affect their sex life — that’s what I hear the most of.”
Nearly all women who need a hysterectomy are candidates for the new procedure. Besides the reduced hospital stay and recovery time, a laparoscopic hysterectomy leaves only tiny scar often not visible, and is less painful than having an open incision.
“The pain is significantly decreased with this procedure,” Dr. Pollard says. “The patient will only be taking pain meds for a couple of days and then Ibuprofen.”
The good news for women is that as they become aware of advances in minimally invasive hysterectomies, they are less likely to delay getting the surgery done.
“By the time I see them, their quality-of-life is so bad from pain or heavy bleeding that they want to have the surgery right away,” Dr. Pollard says. “After they have the procedure, they often tell me they wish they had it done sooner and not waited so long.”
Women who are considering a hysterectomy can learn about the benefits of minimally invasive surgery and whether it is right for them by consulting the experts at MetroHealth’s Center for Advanced Gynecology.
Make an appointment by calling 216-778-5890.
Video: Minimally Invasive Hysterectomies at the MetroHealth Center for Advanced Gynecology