Hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus, may be indicated for many reasons including abnormal bleeding, prolapse (fallen uterus), benign tumors, uterine or cervical cancer, etc. The most advanced technique typically involves the use of a state-of-the-art tool called a robot. This allows the surgeon to perform the surgery more precisely and with less tissue injury, resulting in fewer complications, quicker recovery, and less pain.
What does a “total hysterectomy” mean?
“Total” simply means the entire uterus, including the cervix (the part of the uterus that protrudes into the vagina). Most hysterectomies are “total”. Occasionally we remove only the body of the uterus and leave the cervix (subtotal or supra-cervical hysterectomy). This will be discussed with you prior to your procedure and any/all questions answered. Remember, “total hysterectomy” refers only to the uterus. It DOES NOT mean your ovaries will be removed.
Will my ovaries be removed?
Good studies tell us that women who keep their ovaries have a much better chance of living longer, healthier lives than women who have their ovaries removed. We recommend that most women keep their ovaries, even after menopause. Of course, this recommendation will vary depending upon family and personal history and the patient’s wishes. This decision will be discussed prior to your surgery.
What about my tubes?
The fallopian tubes have been shown to become cancerous as often as the ovaries. We strongly recommend removal of both fallopian tubes during a hysterectomy.
How many incisions will I have? Where will they be?
Most robot assisted hysterectomies involve 4 small incisions in the mid portion of the abdomen. Each is less than ½ inch in length and only requires one or two dissolvable stitches under the skin. Depending upon your particular situation, fewer incisions may be needed.
How long does the surgery take?
The time it takes is variable depending on multiple factors. Most hysterectomies take about 1-1 ½ hours.
How long will I be in the hospital?
Most patients stay overnight and are ready to go home the next morning. Some patients may be dismissed the evening of the surgery if desired.
How long will I be off work?
Depending upon your particular situation anywhere from 10 days to 6 weeks.
What restrictions will I have?
Specific restrictions will be discussed with each patient. In general, lifting is limited to 10-15 pounds and no sexual intercourse is allowed for at least 6 weeks. Walking, light exercise, regular diet, bathroom privileges, showers, and stair climbing are allowed as soon as you are able. Rapid advancement of activities is typical.
Where will my hysterectomy be performed?
Dr. Williamson performs hysterectomies at two hospitals, depending upon your insurance and/or desires:
Oklahoma Surgical Hospital
Saint John Hospital Tulsa