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Moritz Bartels, MD, obstetrician, provides insight into the various options for a hysterectomy.

MultiCare surgeons perform a variety of hysterectomy procedures. What is ultimately right for you depends on your diagnosis, your doctor’s recommendation, and your stage of life. Types of hysterectomies include:

  • Supracervical hysterectomy - removes the uterus, but leaves the cervix intact
  • Total hysterectomy - full removal of the uterus and cervix
  • Radical hysterectomy or modified radical hysterectomy - a more extensive surgery for gynecologic cancer that includes removing the uterus and cervix. As part of this procedure, it may also be necessary to remove a portion of the vagina, fallopian tubes, ovaries and lymph nodes to determine how far the cancer has spread.

A hysterectomy can be performed in several ways:

Abdominal Hysterectomy
This type of hysterectomy is done through a larger abdominal incision, giving the surgeon the best possible access to the pelvic organs. An abdominal hysterectomy is typically done when: the uterus is very large, there are large uterine fibroids or cancer of the uterus, ovaries or cervix is possible.

Vaginal Hysterectomy
This type of hysterectomy is performed through a small incision in the vagina, rather than through an abdominal incision. The ovaries and other organs may also be removed. Vaginal hysterectomy tends to cause less pain, and takes less healing time than abdominal hysterectomy.

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
In a laparoscopic hysterectomy, the uterus is removed either vaginally or through small incisions made in the abdomen. The surgeon a miniaturized camera, inserted into the abdomen through the small incisions to perform the surgery. A laparoscopic approach allows surgeons to better see the affected structures than either vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy alone.

Robotic-Assisted Hysterectomy
MultiCare is currently using one of the most advanced robotic-assisted surgery systems for hysterectomy called da Vinci® Surgical System.

For most women, da Vinci®Hysterectomy can offer numerous potential benefits over traditional approaches to vaginal, laparoscopic or open abdominal hysterectomy, particularly when performing more challenging procedures like radical hysterectomy for gynecologic cancer.

Potential benefits include:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Fewer complications
  • Less scarring
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • A faster return to normal daily activities

MultiCare was the first health system in Pierce County to offer robotic-assisted surgery.

Learn More about Robotic-Assisted Hysterectomies

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