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Single-Site Hysterectomy: An Exciting New Solution

April 28th, 2014 - Posted to Marina Robotics

Thanks to medical advancements within the past couple of decades, what was once a stressful procedure with a long recovery has become a routine surgery from which many patients can even go home the same day.

Now, Marina Del Rey Hospital is one of the first hospitals in Los Angeles at which a single-site hysterectomy, the latest hysterectomy advancement, has been performed.

Read about the First Single-site Hysterectomy in Los Angeles

"I’m proud to part of a team pioneering the single-site technique in Los Angeles. The team at Marina Del Rey Hospital is passionate about providing the most trouble-free experience and best patient care available to all our patients."

But many patients want to know, just what is hysterectomy, and why is it important to use the most modern technique available? Let's go over some basic information about hysterectomy, particularly single-site hysterectomy.

First: What Is Hysterectomy?

Hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, also called the womb. Hysterectomy is the second most common operation performed on women in America, used to treat serious gynecological disorders. (The most common is Caesarian section.) It is, of course, a serious step, to be taken when the risk of not doing the surgery outweighs the negative consequences of the operation.

There are several types of hysterectomy, ranging from partial (where the surgeon removes only the upper part, leaving the cervix) to radical (where the surgeon removes the uterus, the cervix, the tissue around the cervix, and the upper part of the vagina). How much tissue is removed depends on the disorder that the surgery is meant to treat. For example, radical hysterectomy is usually used to treat cancer. In addition to the uterus, the surgeon may remove the ovaries and Fallopian tubes, which produce eggs and carry them to the uterus.

Why Is Hysterectomy Performed?

Hysterectomy is used to treat several conditions, including:

  • Endometriosis, a painful condition caused by growth of uterine lining cells outside the uterus
  • Excessive menstrual bleeding that does not respond to other treatments Uterine fibroids, non-cancerous growths that occur in the uterus
  • Uterine prolapse, which is the slippage of the uterus from its normal place in the abdomen
  • Cancer, or the unchecked, harmful growth of mutated cells, some varieties of which can migrate ("metastasize") to other parts of the body

How Does a Surgeon Perform Single-Site Hysterectomy?

With robotically assisted surgery, the patient is placed in a high-tech surgical station, where robotic arms — always 100% under the surgeon's control — make tiny, precise incisions, through which the operation is done. The instruments are very slim, and the machine can move in directions that the human wrist cannot. The surgeon monitors the surgery at the control console in high-definition 3-D, thanks to a tiny, sophisticated camera that is placed inside the patient alongside the surgical instruments.

Single-site hysterectomy takes the minimally invasive concept and moves it one step further. Rather than a series of small cuts, with single-site hysterectomy the surgeon need make only one small incision, through the navel. This reduces trauma, scarring, blood loss, and the likelihood of a long recovery or negative consequences.

What Are the Differences with Single-site Hysterectomy?

The biggest difference that the patient will notice is in recovery. Rather than face a multi-day hospital stay, some single-site hysterectomy patients can now leave the hospital on the same day as the operation. Typically, patients return to a normal activity level much more quickly than open-hysterectomy patients, with less pain and fewer complications.

The quick recovery is possible because the da Vinci Si surgical robot enhances the surgeon's natural steadiness and precision, resulting in incisions that are more precise than is possible with the human hand alone. As the surgeon proceeds with the surgery, the robot cauterizes open wounds as it goes. This results in much lower blood loss. And with just one incision, there is less healing to do. All in all, patients are likely to be much more comfortable following da Vinci surgery than following traditional hysterectomy.

Are you curious about this exciting new high-tech surgery method? Find out more about single-site hysterectomy and about Marina Del Rey Hospital by calling us today at 844-MIS-4-YOU. We are looking forward to scheduling a consultation and to showing you just how revolutionary this procedure is.