Myths & Facts About Hysterectomies: Part 1, The Procedure
Advancements in surgical technology, techniques and training have brought GYN surgery light years ahead of where it was just 20 years ago. For many women who had open surgeries for their hysterectomy, it’s surprising to hear that the procedure can be performed with 2 tiny 5MM incisions. Often times, patients who undergo advanced minimally invasive procedures hardly seem as though they’ve had the surgery at all. One patient who was up walking around the next day after her DualPortGYN procedure, when visited by an older relative, had to convince her that she really had the procedure done.
At CIGC, our surgeons are highly skilled minimally invasive laparoscopic GYN specialists. They have been fellowship trained, and have performed thousands of procedures.
By redefining minimally invasive surgery, CIGC specialists can help women make better choices when it comes to choosing a surgeon, especially educating women on the questions to ask, providing up to date facts, and by shattering preconceived notions about what it means to have a hysterectomy.
The below myths and facts can help demystify some beliefs that are either relics of 20th century techniques or the result of medical marketing.
Top 5 Myths & Facts About Hysterectomies: The Procedure
1. Myth: My existing OB/GYN is the best person to perform my surgery. He/she knows me and knows my history. I don’t need a second opinion or a specialist.
Fact: General physicians, including OB/GYNs are not always trained in minimally invasive techniques. Generally, women who need a hysterectomy have GYN conditions that are complex. In order to have the fastest, safest procedure with the best results, it’s critical for women to ask for a 2nd opinion, and to seek a surgical specialist for surgery.
2. All hysterectomy procedures are the same, it doesn’t matter which one I choose.
As a basic comparison, here are four types of procedures side by side just by incision number and size. DualPortGYN is the least invasive procedure.
Comparing each procedure side by side, you can estimate the kind of time involved, the length of recovery and whether or not you will need to stay in a hospital.
3. My physician will recommend the best procedure for me.
While physicians are kept up to date on what procedures are available, many work within larger medical groups that encourage specific procedures. These groups can be affiliated with hospitals that invest in expensive equipment like the Robot. The hospital then expects that the tools will be used during GYN procedures. The Robot has not been shown to improve procedures or recovery rates, and physicians using them still have a percentage of conversions to open procedures when they run into problems.
As a patient, it is important to do your research and find the MOST minimally invasive procedure performed by a skilled GYN surgical specialist. It is your body, not your physicians body.
4. Myth: I will need at least 4-6 weeks off of work to recover from surgery.
Fact: While this is true if your doctor recommends an open procedure, minimally invasive procedures like DualPortGYN, where a surgeon only makes 2 tiny incisions, typically requires only 1 week.
5. Myth: I will need to be hospitalized for at least 3 days.
Fact: Minimally invasive procedures at CIGC can be performed in an outpatient setting, so that patients can return home the same day.
Final fact: When OB/GYNs were asked for their preferred technique for GYN surgery, 40.6% chose laparoscopic hysterectomy. Only 8% chose an open procedure.
Up next: Myths and Facts About Hysterectomies: Part 2, Changes To My Body