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About Robotic Surgery

Hysterectomy

Discover more about the revolutionary new treatment for gynecological cancer, fibroids, endometriosis or other uterine conditions:

daVinci Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy Facts

Hysterectomy

Definition

A hysterectomy is a surgical removal of the uterus, resulting in the inability to become pregnant (sterility). It may be done through the abdomen or the vagina.

Alternative Names

Vaginal hysterectomy; Abdominal hysterectomy; Supracervical hysterectomy; Radical hysterectomy; Removal of the uterus

Description

Hysterectomy is an operation that is commonly performed. There are many reasons a woman may need a hysterectomy. However, there are non-surgical approaches to treat many of these conditions. Talk to your doctor about non-surgical treatments to try first, especially if the recommendation for a hysterectomy is for a cause other than cancer.

During a hysterectomy, the uterus may be completely or partially removed. The fallopian tubes and ovaries may also be removed. A partial (or supracervical) hysterectomy is removal of just the upper portion of the uterus, leaving the cervix intact.

A total hysterectomy is removal of the entire uterus and the cervix. A radical hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, the tissue on both sides of the cervix (parametrium), and the upper part of the vagina.

A hysterectomy may be done through an abdominal incision (abdominal hysterectomy), a vaginal incision (vaginal hysterectomy), or through laparoscopic incisions (small incisions on the abdomen -- laparoscopic hysterectomy).

Your physician will help you decide which type of hysterectomy is most appropriate for you, depending on your medical history and the reason for your surgery. Robotic hysterectomy surgery is not yet widely available in the United States.

Why the Procedure is Performed

Hysterectomy may be recommended for:

  • Tumors in the uterus like uterine fibroids or endometrial cancer
  • Cancer of the cervix or severe cervical dysplasia (a precancerous condition of the cervix)
  • Cancer of the ovary
  • Endometriosis, in those cases in which the pain is severe and not responsive to non-surgical treatments
  • Severe, long-term (chronic) vaginal bleeding that cannot be controlled by medications
  • Prolapse of the uterus
  • Complications during childbirth (like uncontrollable bleeding)

Risks

The risks for any anesthesia are:

  • Reactions to medications
  • Problems breathing

The risks for any surgery are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Other risks that are possible from a hysterectomy include:

  • Injury to nearby organs, including the bladder or blood vessels
  • Injury to bowel
  • Pain with intercourse

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most patients recover completely from hysterectomy. Removal of the ovaries along with the uterus in premenopausal women causes immediate menopause, and estrogen replacement therapy may be recommended.

Some women worry that their sexual function will be decreased after removal of the uterus. Researchers have found that sexual function after a hysterectomy depends most on sexual function before the surgery. If a woman had good sexual function before the surgery, she will continue to have good sexual function afterward. If you experience a new decrease in your sexual function after hysterectomy, talk to your health care provider about possible causes.

Recovery

The average hospital stay depends on the type of hysterectomy performed, but is usually from 2 to 3 days. Complete recovery may require 2 weeks to 2 months. Recovery from a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy is faster than from an abdominal hysterectomy, and may include less pain.

Intravenous and oral medications are used after the surgery to relieve postoperative pain. A catheter may remain in place for 1 to 2 days to help the bladder pass urine. Moving about as soon as possible helps to avoid blood clots in the legs and other problems.

Walking to the bathroom as soon as possible is recommended. Normal diet is encouraged as soon as possible after bowel function returns. Avoid lifting heavy objects for a few weeks following surgery. Sexual intercourse should be avoided for 6 to 8 weeks after a hysterectomy.

Review Date: 11/9/2007
Reviewed By: Peter Chen, M.D., Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2008 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Prostatectomy

Discover the advantages of minimally invasive robotic prostate surgery:

daVinci Prostatectomy

Prostatectomy Facts

The prostate gland is an organ at the base of the bladder in men. The tissues in the gland may need to be surgically removed or destroyed if the prostate is swollen.

An enlarged prostate can cause problems urinating and urinary tract infections. These symptoms can often be relieved by removing all or part of the prostate gland. Prostate removal can be performed in a number of different ways, depending on the size of the prostate and the cause of the prostate enlargement.

Prostate removal may be recommended for:

  • Inability to completely empty the bladder (urinary retention)
  • Recurrent bleeding from the prostate
  • Bladder stones with prostate enlargement
  • Extremely slow urination
  • Stage A and B prostate cancer
  • Increased pressure on the ureters and kidneys (hydronephrosis) from urinary retention

Prostate surgery is not recommended for men who have:

  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Bladder disease (neurogenic bladder)
Review Date: 11/15/2006
Reviewed By: Marc Greenstein, DO, Urologist, North Jersey Center for Urologic Care, Denville, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2008 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy describes a group of operations performed with the aid of a camera placed in the abdomen.

The laparoscope was first combined with a video camera in the 1980s, an accomplishment that helped free up the surgeons' hands, so they could better work with their instruments. The laparoscope also allows doctors to perform minor surgery with just a small cut in the abdomen. This technique is known as laparoscopic-assisted surgery.

Initially, laparoscopy was used for procedures such as tubal ligation, a sterilization operation also known as tying the tubes.

The first laparoscopic gallbladder removal was performed in 1985 in France. Soon, the technique was being used to remove the appendix.

Review Date: 7/25/2007
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2008 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com

Laparoscopy Today

Today, exploratory laparoscopy is used after abdominal injury, and in cases of abdominal or pelvic illness. Surgeons use laparoscopic-assisted surgery to remove the colon or the kidney during live donor transplants. Weight-reducing procedures such as gastric bypass and vertical banding gastroplasty (VBG) can also be done laparoscopically. Surgeons may start large operations on the liver or pancreas with laparoscopy to check for additional tumors.

Review Date: 7/25/2007
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2008 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com

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