Surgery should never be rushed into, but sometimes a hysterectomy may be the best answer for problems like severe endometriosis, fibroids, or other reproductive health concerns. At Centennial Women's Health Center in Longmont, Colorado, Dr. M. Therese Barrett provides patients with a diagnosis, treatment with advanced technology, and the compassionate care they need during this time.
A hysterectomy is a surgery that removes the uterus from the body. There are several different ways to perform hysterectomy today, including vaginal hysterectomy, open hysterectomy, laparoscopic hysterectomy, and robotic hysterectomy. The exact type of hysterectomy used depends on several factors including the patient's health, whether additional procedures are being done, the wishes of the patient, and the recommendation of the doctor. Dr. Barrett, at Centennial Women's Health Center, will work with each patient to determine the procedure that's best for them.
No. In a hysterectomy the ovaries generally aren't removed. However, there are cases where it's necessary to remove one or both of the ovaries at the time the uterus is removed. The ovary extraction is called an oophorectomy.
An open hysterectomy is a major surgical procedure that requires a large incision. The incision typically measures 6-8 inches, moving across the lower abdomen just above the pubic mound. The uterus is removed through the incision, which is then stitched closed so the patient can begin recovery. An open hysterectomy requires a recovery period of several weeks at a minimum. Patients will need to take plenty of time to properly recover.
A laparoscopic hysterectomy is very different from an open hysterectomy because it uses a tiny video camera to help guide the surgeon's movements. The tiny camera is inserted through very small incisions, each less than an inch in size. The camera magnifies and illuminates the entire surgical area, which allows for great precision. Due to the reduced incision size, there is much less bleeding and scarring with a laparoscopic hysterectomy and there is a shorter recovery time for the patient.
A robotic hysterectomy is done with robotic arms that are fully controlled by the surgeon as they sit at a control panel next to the patient. The entire abdomen can be seen on the control panel's attached screen, allowing for the best precision. Robotic hysterectomy requires small incisions, although slightly larger than those used in a laparoscopic hysterectomy. Robotic hysterectomy also has a shorter recovery time than an open hysterectomy.
Dr. Barrett does not perform robotic hysterectomies, however, if after consulting with Dr. Barrett, you decide a robotic hysterectomy is the best treatment for your needs, Dr. Barrett will refer you to a qualified surgeon.