So Your Doctor Says You Need A Hysterectomy, Do You Really?
Multiple studies have shown Hysterectomy to be one of most overly performed surgeries in the United States, probably second only to Cesarean Section.
Hysterectomy definitely has its place in the treatment of female problems but in the last 15 years, there have been new medications, outpatient and inpatient procedures that are not as dangerous as hysterectomy yet can be just as effective. Why is it that some physicians can do five times as many hysterectomies in year as I do yet my patients are extremely satisfied with the care I provide?
Think second opinion when it comes to major surgery, it should not offend your current doctor if they are truly looking out for your best interest. Ask your doctor what your alternatives are, what kind of hysterectomy are they performing, i.e. abdominal, vaginal, laparoscopic assisted or da Vinci robot assisted hysterectomy?
There is a big difference, robot assisted hysterectomy requires special training and a hospital that owns the da Vinci robot. If you look at the daVinci surgery website, you will see a list of doctors who have performed at least 20 robot-assisted surgeries. In the last year and a one-half, I have used the daVinci robot for hysterectomies on patients with severe scar tissue, uteri as big as 24 weeks in size, the removal of fibroids in patients with severe bleeding, pain, or those trying to get pregnant. In addition, the da Vinci robot is used for the correction of pelvic relaxation from uterine prolapse to bladder and rectal hernia repair.
What is the big deal with robot hysterectomies? Simple, much less bleeding, less than 23-hour hospitalization, less pain, return to work for many patients in a week and precision surgery using a high definition 3-D camera that can see and avoid the smallest nerves and arteries. If your doctor is planning to perform an abdominal hysterectomy, they are likely doing you a major disservice.
Before the robot, I did almost exclusively vaginal hysterectomies, a skill taught in residency over 13 years, while the majority of OB/GYN’s were doing 80% abdominal hysterectomies. So why did my professors train me this way? Vaginal hysterectomies allow women to go home the next day with much quicker recovery and higher patient satisfaction. The da Vinci robot has taken this major female surgery to a completely new level, with even greater patient satisfaction and shorter recoveries at a time when women need to get back to work or to their regular routine as quickly as possible.
Da Vinci robot surgery requires a significant amount of additional training that physicians do not receive in residency. If your doctor has not made the effort to keep up with the procedures that are best for you, then are you with the right physician?
If you have any questions or just want a second opinion about your particular case, please do not hesitate to make an appointment. I am here to educate women on their options whether they are medical or surgical.