A robotic hysterectomy is a robot assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy. This can be done through a few small incisions in the belly. There are several reasons why your physician may opt to do a robotic hysterectomy. You should discuss the different hysterectomy options with your physician.
What is a hysterectomy?
Hysterectomies are performed to treat gynecological conditions including cancer, fibroids, endometriosis, uterine bleeding, and childbirth complications. A hysterectomy is defined as the surgically removal of the uterus, but there are many different ways to perform this procedure, and a patient should consider the type of hysterectomy she needs based on the reason for the surgery, as well as the size and position of the uterus. The most common types of hysterectomy surgeries include:
- Total or complete hysterectomy where both the uterus and cervix are removed.
- Subtotal or partial hysterectomy where the uterus is removed, but the cervix remains intact.
- Radical hysterectomy is performed when certain cancers are discovered. This procedure removes the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and other structures that support the uterus, which can include lymph nodes.
What happens in a hysterectomy?
With hysterectomies, the uterus can be removed using any of the following methods:
- A small incision, about two inches long, just at or above the pubic hairline. This method is sometimes referred to as a mini-laparotomy or “mini-lap.”
- An incision in the vagina.
- A large incision made in the lower abdomen.
- A procedure called laparoscopy. Laparoscopy is the least invasive of all the methods listed. A laparoscope, a small surgical viewing instrument, is inserted through a small incision to gauge the size and position of the uterus. When combined with surgery, it can remove the uterus through an incision in the abdomen (laparoscopic assisted hysterectomy) or vagina (laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy).
The ovaries can be removed at this time as well. The decision to remove or leave the ovaries is based on what is best for you and your health, which your physician will help you determine.
Is there anything I need to avoid before my annual exam?
You should avoid vaginal intercourse, or using douching, tampons, vaginal foams and jellies, vaginal inserts, sprays, and deodorants 48 hours prior to the appointment, as these products can affect the accuracy of your sample.
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