Hysterectomies are used in the treatment of uterine disease, including cancer, fibroids, endometriosis & prolapse. Traditionally, many conditions affecting the uterus are treated with hysterectomy — the surgical removal of the uterus. U.S. doctors perform about 600,000 hysterectomies every year, making it the second most common surgical procedure.
A wide variety of conditions affect the uterus, or womb. The uterus is a hollow, muscular organ which holds and feeds a fertilized egg. Hysterectomy may offer a life-saving treatment with serious conditions such as cancer or uncontrollable bleeding. In most cases, however, a hysterectomy is an elective procedure performed to relieve chronic pain, bleeding or other disabling conditions, that may be caused by fibroids (noncancerous tumors); endometriosis (noncancerous growth of the uterine lining) or prolapse (falling or slipping of the uterus).
A Hysterectomy Procedure
A hysterectomy can sometimes be performed through the vagina. However, when the uterus is enlarged — for example, from fibroids or cancer — an abdominal hysterectomy is preferable. This requires a 6-12 inch incision. In some cases, doctors also remove the ovaries because they are thought to release hormones contributing to the condition.
While a hysterectomy procedure is relatively safe, it may not be appropriate or necessary for all individuals or conditions. Alternative treatments that can preserve the uterus and ovaries may be available. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.
A Less Invasive Surgical Option
If your doctor recommends a hysterectomy, you may be a candidate for a new, less invasive surgical procedure using a state-of-the-art surgical robotic system that enables your surgeon to perform a more precise, minimally invasive procedure.
For most women, the surgical robotic hysterectomy offers numerous potential benefits over traditional surgical approaches, including:
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is patient- and procedure-specific.