A wide variety of benign cancerous conditions can affect a woman's reproductive system, which consists of the uterus, the vagina, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Most of these conditions affect the uterus, which is the hollow, muscular organ that holds a baby as it grows inside a pregnant woman.
Women who experience these conditions are often treated with hysterectomy (the surgical removal of the uterus). In fact, this procedure is the second most common surgical procedure for women in the United States, and an estimated one-third of all U.S. women will have a hysterectomy by age 60.
Common cancers treated with a hysterectomy include:
- Cancer of Cervix, Uteris or Ovaries
Traditional open hysterectomy (or removal of the uterus) requires a 6 to 12-inch abdominal incision and weeks of recovery. Your doctor might recommend a hysterectomy to treat your condition. Hysterectomy can sometimes be performed through the vagina. However, when the uterus is large or if you have internal scarring from prior surgery or other conditions, abdominal hysterectomy is usually performed.
Abdominal hysterectomies can be performed with open surgery, which requires a wide incision below the navel. This procedure can be painful, involving heavy pain medications, risk of infection and significant blood loss. After surgery, a long recovery (often six weeks) is necessary. In addition, many patients are not happy with the scar left by the incision.
da Vinci Surgery
While hysterectomy is a relatively safe procedure, it may not be appropriate or necessary for all individuals or conditions. Alternative treatments that preserve the uterus may be available.
If your doctor recommends hysterectomy, you may be a candidate for an innovative, less invasive surgical procedure called the da Vinci hysterectomy. This procedure uses a state-of-the art surgical system designed to help your doctor perform the most precise and least invasive hysterectomy available today. The da Vinci hysterectomy is performed through five tiny incisions which heal in a fraction of the time.
Open Surgical Incision
da Vinci Surgical Incision
Benefits of da Vinci Surgery
For most women, da Vinci Hysterectomy offers numerous potential benefits over traditional surgical approaches, including:
- Significantly less pain
- Small incisions for minimal scarring
- Less blood loss and need for transfusion
- Less risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stay
- Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
- Better outcomes and patient satisfaction, in many cases
Find a da Vinci Surgeon
Visit the da Vinci Surgeons page to see which physicians have been trained and certified to use the da Vinci Surgical System
Information and images provided courtesy of Intuitive Surgical.