What is minimally invasive hysterectomy recovery like? Expect less pain, less blood loss, and a faster recovery. Sound good? In addition, surgeons will have more precision, dexterity, and control as they utilize the da Vinci surgical system found in hospitals worldwide. In fact, more women choose the da Vinci surgical system for minimally invasive hysterectomy surgery than conventional laparoscopic surgery or vaginal surgery. Let’s find out why.
Better for Surgeons, Better for Patient Outcomes
The da Vinci surgical system, cleared by the FDA in 2000, is a great improvement over conventional laparoscopic surgery where your surgeon must stand and look away from instruments to a monitor while holding long instruments that don’t bend or rotate.
The da Vinci system is a great advancement with an ergonomic environment allowing the surgeon to sit at the console with the monitor in front. Now your surgeon has eyes and hands positioned in line with the instruments.
The instruments mimic the movement of human hands and wrists. The surgery is performed through a few small incisions in the abdomen about the size of a fingertip. With 3D high definition views, the instruments move in real time with the surgeon’s precise movements and with a greater range of motion.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy Surgery
If you choose to have a minimally invasive robotic surgery, you will experience the following benefits compared to traditional open surgery.
- Less blood loss
- Less pain after surgery
- Decreased risk of infection
- Smaller incisions and less scarring
- Shorter hospital stay
- Shorter recovery time
- Faster return to your normal activities
Most patients will remain in the hospital for only one night on average. Most patients should be up and walking in a day or two. You can return to light activities in 24 to 48 hours. It is best to have someone at home to assist you the first few days. Driving may commence after 72 hours depending on your medications. You may have vaginal bleeding for a few days to 3 weeks after surgery.
You can expect to return to work in about two weeks as long as it doesn’t involve any physical exertion. Expect mild soreness and fatigue for a few weeks. Typically patients recover fully in one month.
Some recovery tips include:
- Get plenty of needed rest and avoid straining or lifting anything over 20 pounds.
- Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet.
- It is best to wait 6 weeks before having vaginal sex.
- Keep walking.
After a Hysterectomy
You will no longer have periods or be able to get pregnant. If your ovaries were removed before you reached menopause, you will begin it immediately after surgery. This means you will have typical symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Dr. Eads may recommend you consider hormone replacement surgery.
If your ovaries were not removed and you were still having periods, you will continue to produce eggs and hormones until you reach natural menopause.