According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year in the United States. So if one may be in your future, you are far from alone.
In the past, hysterectomy was considered a major and significant surgery, requiring a large amount of recovery time. But these days, robot-assisted surgical procedures are helping to change that.
While your individual circumstances will determine whether this type of surgical procedure is right for you, it's important to know the facts.
Why Do Women Have Hysterectomies?
First things first, why might a hysterectomy be needed in the first place? A hysterectomy is used to treat a number of conditions that affect the uterus, including:
- Excessive uterine bleeding
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine prolapse
When medication and other conservative therapies do not work to treat the aforementioned conditions, a hysterectomy might be recommended.
The Advantages of Robot-Assisted Surgery
Surgeries that require a large incision typically result in more pain and longer recovery times.
However, with new modalities and technology emerging every day, robot-assisted hysterectomies are offering another option for many women. During a robot-assisted hysterectomy, your doctor performs the surgery using the guidance of a robotic system.
Using an enhanced view of the surgical area, the surgeon remotely maneuvers the surgical instruments to either partially or completely remove the uterus. The instrumentation used to perform the procedure are much smaller than the surgeon’s hands, and a much smaller incision is necessary to access the surgical site, so the incisions are smaller than a traditional open procedure.
Other benefits of a robot-assisted hysterectomy include:
- Fewer complications
- Less blood loss
- Quicker return to normal activities
- Reduced need for pain medication
- Shorter hospital stays
If your doctor recommends a hysterectomy, talk with him or her about whether a robot-assisted procedure might be an option for you.