Minimally-Invasive Surgery — St. Mark’s Center for Women’s Health

(lighthearted folk music) – Minimally-invasive surgery
is multiple types that avoid the big incisions that we
used to do in the abdomen, like abdominal hysterectomies. These days that can be done with something called laparoscopy, where little tiny tubes are
put through the belly button and often one or two on either
side of the low abdomen. It can also be something
called a hysteroscopy, where a small tube is put into the vagina through the cervix into
the uterine cavity. It has a camera attached to it so we can see inside the uterus and sometimes instruments
can be put through it to biopsy or remove
things that we might see that are abnormal. It seems like a lot of people hear what their friends are having or wanting to do the exact same thing, but there are a lot of
different reasons why a surgeon might choose one approach
over another approach to doing a hysterectomy. And so that’s something
you really ought to talk to your health care provider about. Some of the factors in what
we choose can depend on, is there a cancer there? Do we need to do something with ovaries, not just the uterus? Have you had other abdominal surgeries? Which, like C-sections or other abdominal surgeries
like appendectomies, which may cause a lot of scarring and make surgeries more difficult. They can include the size of the uterus, if you have fibroids there, so it’s one of those things that you’ll wanna talk
to your surgeon about. What are all of the
choices available to me of the types of hysterectomy? And why or why not should
I be doing that approach? Luckily these days we
have a lot of choices for treating heavy bleeding. And, in fact, you don’t
have to do anything about it if there’s no cancer there, if you don’t have a really low blood count from the amount of bleeding, and if it’s not bothering
your life in any way. For women who it’s bothering their life, obviously there are a lot of things that we’ll wanna do to help them. It can include something
as simple as a DNC or scraping out the uterine lining. But there are more effective
treatments for most women. It can include medication
like birth control pills. There are other medications now available. It can include an IUD, which is a very effective treatment. There are a few circumstances
where robotic surgery is proven to be better than other methods and those are primarily
the types of surgery that would have to be done
as full open surgeries if you didn’t use a robot. The majority of surgeries can
be done with a laparascopy instead of with a robot. Robots are very expensive, requires additional training, and in most circumstances
is not proven to be safer. But there are a few types of
surgery such as cancer surgery or really severe
endometriosis-type surgeries or surgeries where somebody’s had a lot of abdominal surgery in the past and there’s a lot of scarring
where being able to work with a robot makes a big difference. It’s been fantastic for me to see over the course of my 20 plus year career, seeing more and more surgeries be done minimally-invasive ways instead
of the open-abdominal way. Certainly women are much
happier with the results, have much less pain, which is very important, and are able to return to work and normal activity much faster. (lighthearted folk music)

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