Texas Health Kaufman OB-GYN Performs Hospital’s First Laparoscopic Hysterectomy|
KAUFMAN, Texas — Something had to be done. The uterine fibroids Teresa Grimes had tried to live with for years were now causing constant abdominal pain. Bleeding drained her blood of iron and other nutrients. She eventually became anemic. Her energy level hovered near zero.
While a traditional hysterectomy might provide relief, it also would come with a cost: three to four days in the hospital, a painful abdominal incision and up to six weeks of recovery.
As a 39-year-old mother of three and the full-time manager of radiology at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman, Grimes wanted something better. She found it in the form of laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy, a new procedure being performed by Dr. Michael Glover, an OB-GYN on the medical staff at Texas Health Kaufman.
Not long after the procedure began, Grimes was being wheeled out of the operating room. She awoke to an odd feeling in her abdomen: no pain.
“As soon as I woke up from surgery, the pain and discomfort were gone,” she said. “All the pressure was gone. I didn’t realize how much discomfort the fibroids were causing until after the surgery. I had almost forgotten what it was like to feel that good.”
Hysterectomy is the most common non-pregnancy-related surgery performed on women in the United States. The procedure involves removal of the uterus and cervix and, for some conditions, the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Each year, more than 600,000 women undergo the procedure, with one in three women in the United States undergoing the surgery by age 60.
The procedure is used to treat fibroids (non-cancerous uterine growths), endometriosis (when growth of uterine tissue affects other abdominal organs), uterine prolapse (uterus moves within abdomen, causing urinary problems, pelvic pressure and other problems), cancer, persistent vaginal bleeding and chronic pelvic pain.
“These are common health problems that affect a large number of women,” Glover said. “There’s great need to offer different treatment options, from medical therapies to advanced procedures like minimally invasive surgery.”
Laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy is a relatively new surgical procedure that allows the uterus to be detached from inside the body by two laparoscopic instruments, each requiring incisions of about a half inch, while Glover views the inside of the abdomen through a camera attached to a tiny telescope. The uterus is removed through a small incision by using a special instrument to cut it into thin strips.
The incisions with a laparoscopic hysterectomy are much smaller and less painful than traditional abdominal hysterectomy. Also, patients go home the same day and can resume normal activity in one to two weeks.
Glover offers laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy, which is an advanced form of laparoscopic hysterectomy that preserves sexual function by saving the cervix and the supporting structures of the cervix and vagina.
“This surgery isn’t for everyone,” Glover said. “There can be reasons for a traditional open surgery. But when there’s an opportunity to do the procedure laparoscopically, it’s a wonderful option for these women. It gets them back on their feet and back to their lives much quicker than traditional surgery.”
Glover said the surgery is most beneficial for women who exercise and have busy work schedules, or those who have active hobbies, like gardening, fishing or playing sports.
“Laparoscopic hysterectomies shorten recovery, reduce pain and complications, and minimize scarring,” said Susan Stone, R.N., CNOR, director of surgical services at Texas Health Kaufman. “I think it’s a great option for women in Kaufman County and surrounding areas.”
Grimes was back on her feet the next day. Within 10 days, she was back at work.
“I’m as busy as ever,” she said recently from her office at Texas Health Kaufman. “Between work and taking care of the kids, I’m swamped — and I couldn’t be happier.”
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