Smaller, Fewer Incisions Improves Fibroid Patient’s Mobility Sooner: Beyond the Stirrups Part 2
Prolonged recovery from any surgery can limit a return to normal activity, including exercise routines. For invasive GYN procedures, like open, robotic or standard laparoscopic fibroid removal surgery, many patients require weeks of painful recovery from either one large or multiple abdominal incisions that can make even walking and performing daily tasks difficult.
When incisions and instruments have to pass deep within the abdominal muscles they are less safe and take a long time to heal. The incisions from these procedures have a higher likelihood of lacerating blood vessels and damaging nerves, but at minimum, they go through musculature that takes much longer to heal, and has a higher level of pain during the recovery.
Both the size and placement of incisions matter for faster recovery.
WHY DO I NEED TO GET MOVING AFTER FIBROID REMOVAL SURGERY?
“When you are limited in mobility for an extended period of time, more than two weeks, muscles begin to decondition, or detrain,” said Paul MacKoul, MD. “Walking promotes the flow of oxygen throughout the body, and maintains normal breathing function. Gastrointestinal and urinary tract function are improved, and with improved blood flow, wounds heal faster. Every patient’s recovery is different and should be monitored by a physician, but gradual and measured increase in movement and activity can help prevent prolonged recovery times.”
The detraining effect compounds depending on how fit a patient was to begin with. According to studies conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, and US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine two weeks of inactivity can lead to a decline in cardio fitness. For some patients, recovering for 2 months after surgery (which is often necessary for patient who undergo open procedures) can lead to a loss of all fitness gains.
Every fibroids patient is different and needs to follow the advice of her surgeon. That said, choosing a surgeon who can perform advanced and thorough fibroid removal techniques with small incisions placed strategically in the midline increases the chances of the patient having a faster recovery.
RAISING THE BAR FOR TREATING PATIENTS WITH COMPLEX FIBROIDS
Patients recover faster when surgical procedures are performed thoughtfully with the smallest incisions possible. As laparoscopic surgical technology improves, highly skilled minimally invasive GYN surgeons are able to perform complex procedures using increasingly smaller incisions, while controlling blood loss and improving visibility. These techniques allow laparoscopic procedures to be performed thoroughly, with very low risk of conversion to open procedures.