Hysterectomies are very common, according to the National Institutes of Health, one in three women in the United States has one by the age of 60.
The technology used to perform the single-incision robotic procedure was approved by the FDA at the beginning of 2013. The new instrumentation allows the surgeon to remove the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries through one small incision. Previous robotic surgeries required up to four incisions.
For the surgery, the surgeon makes a 2.3 centimeter incision in the patient’s belly button. This allows a port, or tube, to be placed in the opening. Through this port, the robot’s camera and robotic arms are moved into the patient’s abdomen.
The surgeon then sits at a console, viewing 3D, high definition images, while using controls to move robotic arms and instruments inside the patient’s body. The system translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of the surgical instruments.
In addition to a hidden scar, the benefits of this surgical procedure may include shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and less pain. Many patients go home the same day as the procedure and only have to take ibuprofen for the pain.
“It is exciting to be on the forefront of this technology. Just a few years ago, a hysterectomy left a large scar from the belly button all the way to the top of the pubic bone. Today, we are able to offer our patients a revolutionary surgery that leaves a minimal scar that is often hidden in the belly button.”
Dr. Gregory Heidrick, the first surgeon in the region to perform a single-incision hysterectomy
Learn more about the single-incision hysterectomy procedure from Dr. Gregory Heidrick.