Your Austin OBGYN offers leading-edge options for hysterectomy
When your OBGYN recommends hysterectomy, either for preventative or therapeutic reasons, you will have many questions and concerns. Our clinical care team understands the emotions that surround this procedure, and we will prepare you to make an informed decision.
We begin with reassurances that this surgery can and should be offered as a minimally invasive procedure, and single incision hysterectomy may be an option for you.
Surgical removal of a woman’s uterus may be necessary when one or more of the following occurs:
- Cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix or endometrium
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Uterine prolapse
Nearly 600,000 hysterectomies occur each year, making it the second most common women’s surgery after Cesarean section. Once we have determined that a hysterectomy is appropriate, your Austin OBGYN will discuss the best surgical option for your unique situation.
Your options for surgical hysterectomy
New techniques for hysterectomies continue to evolve, giving women more alternatives than ever. Your grandmother or mother may have experienced open surgery, with a large incision across the abdomen and nearly two months of recovery time.
Minimally invasive robotic surgery
Today, our Austin OBGYNs perform robotic-assisted surgery, including a new single incision option that allows you the same excellent outcome and prompt return to regular activities after hysterectomy, but now with a virtually invisible scar.
The da Vinci® Surgical System enhances a surgeon’s precision by enhancing visualization and dexterity. The console that the surgeon uses provides a 3D view of the surgical area, and proprietary tools remove the slightest chance of tremor normally present in the human hand.
With the single site approach, the incision site is small (about two-fingers’ width) and the single site surgical port is soft and pliable. Patients can expect a reduced recovery time, and minimal pain in the days and weeks after this surgery, which is performed through one incision hidden in the umbilicus (belly button).
To summarize, the benefits of robotic hysterectomy include:
- Enhancing surgical skills with a leading-edge software-enhanced system that essentially equips your gynecologic surgeon with as many or as few arms (and incisions) are needed to safely complete your surgery – up to four arms.
- Range of motion, specifically the ability to bend and rotate like a human wrist
- Creating opportunities to zoom in on the surgical field, and scrutinize cysts, endometriosis and fibroids from enhanced 3D visualization better than the human eye
- The single site platform offers better “triangulation,” a three-pronged ergonomic approach, which affords the surgeon a better and safer angle on the area he or she is targeting.
Will I need open surgery?
In 2005, women could expect to have a large belly incision about 68% of the time. The rate has dropped to 30%, thanks to the new robotic platform. At Women’s Health Texas, only 1% to 2% percent of hysterectomies will require an open surgery.
With traditional open surgery (including hysterectomies, removal of fibroids and pelvic floor surgery), women routinely experience six weeks of recovery time and significant post-operative pain. We offer single incision robotic surgery, after which our patients routinely report feeling almost completely recovered after just one to two weeks.
Single incision hysterectomy
Most OBGYNs have trained in vaginal and abdominal hysterectomy, and laparoscopic techniques for advanced options. Every doctor at Women’s Health Texas has training in robotic surgery.
Not every patient will be a candidate for a single incision hysterectomy, but many will find that they can opt for this modern choice.
Our Austin OBGYNs can perform the minimally invasive technique described above without the robotic system. Laparoscopic surgery involves three to five tiny incisions, the use of an endoscope, a lighted camera with images projected onto a 2-D video screen, and a range of surgical tools. Like robotic surgery, laparoscopic surgery for hysterectomy is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia.
Simply put: Minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery greatly reduces the time it takes to feel like yourself again.
Non-surgical options for treating gynecologic conditions
The extent of your symptoms will help decide the treatment approach. Some women choose to first explore non-surgical options, such as hormonal therapies, to manage the pain and discomfort of their conditions.
Non-surgical treatments for uterine fibroids, heavy bleeding or endometriosis result in an approximate 30 percent failure rate, so amendments to the treatment plan may become necessary over time.
In addition, depending on the pathology, how many fibroids or cysts are present, and the size of the growths, your Austin OBGYN may recommend surgery for the diagnostic and treatment benefits.
What to expect with surgery for hysterectomy
Women’s Health Texas has surgical credentialing at North Austin Hospital, the flagship of the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery.
The number of incisions, and the surgical approach you will require, depends on the complexity of your case. For example, women with a fibroid tumor that gives them the appearance of a six-month pregnancy will likely need multiple incisions to remove the enlarged uterus.
You will schedule your hysterectomy with guidance and support from our team. We are available to help determine insurance benefits and answer any concerns you may have about the procedure.
Recovery time can be as little as one week, or up to six weeks. Our Austin OBGYN team is uniquely qualified to offer you the very best opportunity to enjoy a speedy recovery from hysterectomy, and the best possible outcome.
Please feel free to contact our scheduling office to learn more about surgical and non-surgical options for hysterectomies. We are one of the few OBGYN clinics in Austin to offer single incision hysterectomy.