Minimally invasive surgery provides options for women

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1924

Are you a woman living with pelvic pain because you don’t want to face surgery?

The first step is to make an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your pain.

March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month. It is estimated 10 to 20 percent of reproductive-age women in the U.S. suffer from the condition when the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. A gynecologist can determine if your chronic pelvic pain is caused by endometriosis.

Other conditions, ranging from incontinence to cancer, may require surgical treatment; but many gynecological procedures no longer require a large abdominal incision or long hospital stays.

Baptist Health offers several minimally invasive gynecology surgery options for procedures, ranging from pelvic organ prolapse repair to hysterectomy.

Prolapse repair

Pelvic organ prolapse happens to about one-third of all women. It refers to the drooping of pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and vagina. Common causes include pregnancy and childbirth, obesity, respiratory problems with a chronic cough and hysterectomy.

Robotic surgery can repair pelvic organ prolapse, using soft synthetic mesh to support pelvic organs that have slipped out of their normal positions. The minimally invasive surgery generally takes only one to two hours. Another minimally invasive option for pelvic organ prolapse is done vaginally. During this surgery, the top of the vagina is attached to the lower abdominal wall, the lower back or pelvis ligaments.

Incontinence repair

Women experience incontinence – the accidental release of urine – twice as often as men. It can be caused by childbirth, weight gain or other conditions that stretch the pelvic muscles, and can occur from sneezing, laughing and coughing. Surgery is often the best treatment.

Outpatient procedures for incontinence include a “sling” procedure with a small incision in the vagina and two smaller ones in the lower pelvic area. The procedure involves placing a sling around the urethra to lift it back into a normal position.

Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus, may be necessary to treat a variety of conditions, including non-cancerous and cancerous tumors.

Baptist Health Paducah became the first hospital in the region to implement the da Vinci Surgical System for hysterectomies, ovarian cysts, and other abdominal problems.

Robotic surgery, a type of laparoscopic hysterectomy, offers a smaller incision, less scarring, and quicker recovery. This allows patients to get back to work much quicker than the traditional abdominal hysterectomy. They often return to work in two weeks, while recovery time for a traditional hysterectomy is normally six weeks.