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A hysterectomy removes either part of the uterus or the entire uterus along with the cervix. In some procedures, the ovaries may also be removed in a procedure called an oophorectomy. Hysterectomies are performed to treat several different conditions, including:
Also called robot-assisted hysterectomy, robotic hysterectomy is a minimally invasive surgical approach that uses small incisions and special instruments guided by computer software and the surgeon to ensure optimal results. Robotic hysterectomy also offers the surgeon magnified 3-D images of the surgical site for greater precision and control. Like other types of minimally-invasive surgeries, robot-assisted hysterectomy offers patients multiple benefits, including less tissue injury, less bleeding, smaller scars, reduced discomfort and faster recovery.
Robot-assisted hysterectomy is usually performed under general anesthesia to enable patients to sleep throughout the procedure. Before surgery, patients will be carefully evaluated to determine the best approach for their surgery as well as the best placement for the incisions. Incisions will be much smaller than those used for traditional surgical techniques – usually about 1 ½ to 2 inches for each incision. The instruments including those that are robotically-assisted will be inserted through the incisions, During the procedure, the surgeon will use hand motions to guide the robot, which is designed to replicate those motions inside the body with extreme precision. Once the procedure is over, the incisions will be closed. Most patients require a one-night hospital stay for observation during the very first stages of recovery. Complete recovery will take a few weeks, and some activities including heavy lifting and sexual intercourse will be restricted during that time. Women should also expect some light vaginal bleeding during recovery.
Robotic hysterectomy can be a great choice for many women, but it's not always the best option. Prior to hysterectomy, patients will be carefully evaluated to decide if a robot-assisted technique is the best approach.
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