In a hysterectomy, we remove the uterus. It’s a common procedure that we use to address various issues in the gynecologic world, such as pelvic pain, fibroids, endometriosis, and cancer.
Endometriosis is when you have endometrium that grows outside of the uterus. It typically causes pain, and over a lifetime, it can cause inflammation and adhesions and chronic pain.
A lot of times we try to treat gynecologic ailments with conservative measurements first, things like hormones to control the bleeding and pain medications to control the pain. A lot of times that works, but when it doesn’t work, then the patient will start to seek something a little bit more permanent, and that’s when the hysterectomy comes in.
I would say typically in their 40s, when they’re done with childbearing and they’re no longer looking for fertility, and they are just tired of dealing with whatever ailment that is causing them. That is the typical age for things like endometriosis and fibroids. With cancers, it’s a little bit older because cancers tend to strike at an older age.
That is very correct, yes.
Typically, an open hysterectomy is when we make an incision and we remove the uterus through this big incision. It typically involves a hospital stay that is typically one to two days long. People will tend to have a lot of pain. It is associated with more bleeding and infection.
With the robot and laparoscopy, we don’t make any big incisions. We have these tiny holes that we insert instruments through and we remove the uterus that way. Patients tend to go home the same day. They have less bleeding, less pain and it just gives them a better experience.
One is in the belly button and two that are about four finger lengths to the right and to the left, and that’s it. Sometimes you may need a fourth incision just to help with manipulation, but that is it.
Typically, we say two weeks. Sometimes patients are back to work in one week. Sometimes a little bit longer, maybe three weeks total.
Two to three weeks.
If you have any issues that you’ve been dealing with such as pelvic pain or bleeding, talk to your gynecologist about a robot assisted hysterectomy.
Lightly edited for clarity.
Watch the San Diego Health video with host Susan Taylor and Dr. Hui discussing what to expect during and after robotic hysterectomy.