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Hysterectomy (Benign)

Many benign (non-cancerous) conditions can affect a woman’s reproductive system, which includes the uterus, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes.

A hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women in the US.

Common conditions include: fibroids, which are benign growths in and/or around the uterus; endometriosis, which occurs when your uterine lining grows outside the uterus; adenomyosis, which occurs when your uterine lining grows into the wall of the uterus; and pelvic prolapse, which is the slipping of the uterus, vagina and/or bladder.

Gynecologic conditions can cause many different symptoms or no symptoms at all. Some of the more common symptoms may include: pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, irregular periods, fatigue, unusual bloating, pain during sex, and infertility.

If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may suggest medicine, lifestyle changes, or surgery. If surgery is indicated, your doctor may suggest a hysterectomy (removal of your uterus and possibly ovaries and fallopian tubes). A hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women in the United States.

da Vinci Hysterectomy Surgery Robotic Laparoscopic Gynecology Uterus Removal

Surgical procedures used for hysterectomy:

  • Abdominal Hysterectomy: During an abdominal hysterectomy (open surgery), your uterus is removed through a large open incision. The incision must be large enough for your surgeon’s hands to fit inside your body and reach your organs.
  • Laparoscopy: Laparoscopic surgery is minimally-invasive. With traditional laparoscopy, your surgeon operates through a few small incisions using long instruments and a tiny camera to guide doctors during surgery. Another laparoscopic option is roboticallyassisted da Vinci Surgery. Your surgeon operates through a few small incisions in your abdomen using a 3D HD vision system and wristed instruments that bend and rotate. da Vinci technology enables your surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision and control.
  • Vaginal Hysterectomy: A vaginal hysterectomy is done through a cut in your vagina. The surgeon operates through this incision and closes it with stitches.
  • Single-Site/Single Incision: Your hysterectomy can be done through a small incision (cut) in your belly button using single-incision traditional laparoscopy or da Vinci® Single-Site® Surgery. These procedures allow for virtually scarless results.

Locations where this procedure is performed:

Chippenham Hospital | Henrico Doctors' Hospital | Johnston-Willis Hospital


Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines your uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. Spots of endometriosis, called "implants" or "lesions," are usually found in your pelvic area. In rare cases, it can grow in other parts of your body. Normally, the endometrium lining sheds each month during your period, but implants stay in place.

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines your uterus (the endometrium) also grows outside of the uterus.

Endometriosis is typically diagnosed in women between ages 25 to 35 but can occur anytime during a woman’s reproductive years, from menstruation through menopause. Endometriosis is common and family history plays a key role. A woman who has a mother or sister with endometriosis is six times more likely to have it.

For women with symptoms, endometrial implants can cause irregular bleeding, pain, and infertility. Mild to severe pain is the most common symptom, which can occur during menstrual periods, intercourse, and bowel movements. Pain may also occur in the lower back or abdomen. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, treatment may include lifestyle changes and medicine to control pain and endometriosis growth. If your symptoms worsen, your doctor may suggest surgery.

Surgical options include resecting all visible implants while leaving the female reproductive organs intact versus a hysterectomy - removing the uterus and potentially other organs, such as the tubes or ovaries. Endometriosis surgery can be performed using traditional open surgery or minimally invasive laparoscopy. The da Vinci system offers your surgeon another minimally invasive option-combining the best techniques of traditional open surgery with the enhanced capabilities of laparoscopic surgery.

Robotic endometriosis surgery typically requires a few small incisions instead of one large incision. Potential benefits to patients include quicker recovery, less blood loss, and less pain.

Locations where this procedure is performed:

Chippenham Hospital | Henrico Doctors' Hospital | Johnston-Willis Hospital


Pelvic Prolapse

Pelvic prolapse is a condition that occurs when muscles and ligaments that support your pelvic organs weaken. As a result, these organs (uterus, vagina, cervix, bladder, urethra, or rectum) slip from their normal position.

Pelvic prolapse affects about 1 in 3 women who have had a child.
Severe uterine prolapse can cause the uterus to slip (prolapse) partially into the vagina. It may cause the upper part of the vagina to sag into the vaginal canal or even outside the vagina.

Some women with prolapse have no symptoms. Others may experience: a feeling of sitting on a ball, pulling in the pelvis, pelvic or abdominal pain, painful intercourse, tissue from the vagina sticking out, bladder infections, vaginal bleeding, unusual discharge, constipation or frequent urination.

Pelvic prolapse is common, affecting about one in every three women who have had a child. One in nine women have symptoms that are severe enough to need surgery. Risk factors for prolapse include multiple vaginal deliveries, age, obesity, hysterectomy and smoking.

The procedure to correct a uterine or vaginal prolapse is called sacrocolpopexy. More than 120,000 women in the United States have surgery for these conditions annually.

For a vaginal prolapse, the surgeon inserts a mesh to hold the vagina in the correct position. This procedure can also be performed in conjunction with a hysterectomy to correct uterine prolapse.

Sacrocolpopexy has traditionally been done as an open surgery, with a vertical 6-inch to 12-inch incision in the lower abdomen. Robotic sacrocolpopexy typically requires just a few small incisions. With our robotic sacrocolpopexy, you should experience reduced blood loss, reduced risk of complications, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, and less scarring.

Locations where this procedure is performed:

Chippenham Hospital | Henrico Doctors' Hospital | Johnston-Willis Hospital


Uterine Fibroids

A uterine fibroid is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that grows in the uterine lining, inside, and/or outside of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are most common in women ages 30 to 40, but can occur at any age. An estimated 20 to 80% of women develop fibroids by age 50. Uterine fibroids are the most common reason a hysterectomy is performed.

Uterine fibroids are the most common reason hysterectomies are performed.

A woman can have one fibroid tumor or several. Fibroids may increase in size and frequency with age, but may shrink after menopause. Not all women experience symptoms due to fibroids. When symptoms are present, they can include heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, frequent urination and difficulty getting pregnant.

When medication, lifestyle changes, and other non-invasive treatments do not ease your symptoms, your doctor may recommend a surgery called myomectomy as an alternative to hysterectomy for treating fibroids. During a myomectomy, your surgeon removes the fibroid tumor(s) while leaving your uterus in place. Myomectomy is recommended for women who want to become pregnant or keep their uterus for other reasons.

Locations where this procedure is performed:

Chippenham Hospital | Henrico Doctors' Hospital | Johnston-Willis Hospital


Data and content provided in partnership with Intuitive Surgical.