July 12 2006 - CASAT Now Offering New Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

Press Release - July 12, 2006
CASAT Now Offering New Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 12, 2006

For More Information:

John Moore
Media Relations
903-531-4542

TYLER, TX – A report by the Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research revealed that the rate of hysterectomy in the United States showed little change from 1990 to 1997. Hysterectomy, the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus, is still the most common non-pregnancy related surgical procedure, with approximately 600,000 performed annually. The report, which was published in the February 2002 issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, did reveal, however, that there has been a change in the way hysterectomies are performed, with a 30 percent increase in laparoscopic methods, to about ten percent of the total.

The Center For Advanced Surgery And Technology (CASAT) at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler is offering women a new type of minimally-invasive hysterectomy. The procedure, called laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy (LSH), uses a laparoscope (a thin lighted telescope) and small surgical instruments inserted through tiny incisions to remove only the top portion of the uterus, while leaving the cervix intact. It can be performed on an outpatient basis, and offers less pain, scarring and shorter recovery times than the traditional hysterectomy, which remove the entire uterus and cervix through a much larger “open” abdominal incision.

“More and more physicians are seeing the benefits of offering laparoscopic hysterectomies,” said Terry Byrd, RN, director, CASAT. “The traditional hysterectomy, which still accounts for the majority of cases, requires a four to six inch incision in the woman’s abdomen. If we can remove only the top portion of the women’s uterus, through tiny incisions, and leave the cervix we can minimize pain and trauma to the body, and this translates into significant benefits for the patient.”

During laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy, fibroids and the uterus can be removed through small laparoscopic incisions in the abdomen. A surgical instrument called a tissue morcellator makes it possible to cut up and remove the fibroids and other dense tissue through one of the tiny incisions. The fallopian tubes and ovaries may also be removed through the incisions, if needed.

The intricate technique allows the surgeon to separate the uterus from the cervix, leaving the cervix intact. Many gynecologists believe that leaving the cervix, the entrance to the uterus, in place helps to reduce the incidence of urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse later in life.

The laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy was developed to reduce pain, minimize scarring, and shorten recovery time. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis under general or regional anesthesia. A patient can be home within 24 hours, and back to normal activities in less than a week. Traditional “open” hysterectomy requires 3-6 days in the hospital, and up to six weeks of recovery, not to mention a visible scar on the abdomen.

The laparoscopic procedure may not be appropriate if a woman has very large or numerous fibroids. In addition, a woman must be willing to continue to have an annual pap smear to screen for cervical cancer.

“We certainly feel that women should discuss alternatives to hysterectomy with their physicians. In most cases, fibroids or other uterine problems can be managed without hysterectomy. However, if a woman and her physician have explored the options and decided on hysterectomy, a laparosocpic approach may be the preferred option. It is especially appealing to women who work or have family responsibilities, and don’t want an extensive recovery period, “ said Terry Byrd.

For more information about the Center For Advanced Surgery And Technology at Mother Frances Hospital, visit www.casattexas.org.

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