"How long do I stay in the hospital?"
Fortunately, most patients are observed for less than 24 hours (one night) on an out patient basis. A bladder catheter is kept in until you are awake enough to use the bathroom on your own (usually a few hours). A blood count is checked the evening of surgery and once you have tolerated your breakfast and voided in the morning you will be discharged with a follow up apt in 7-10 days.
"When will I be able to return to work?"
Obviously, this depends on your job. For most patients, I recommend two weeks. However, many patients have gone back to work full time within the first week. If your job is very physical, you may benefit from a longer recovery period. There is no rush. We want you feeling your best when you return.
"How do you do the procedure through only one small incision?"
Unlike traditional laparoscopic surgery or da Vinci robotic hysterectomies, we use a flexible laparoscope that allows us to see around corners and over and under obstacles. Therefore, we do not need to make other incisions around the abdomen. The unique SILStm port allows us to use up to three instruments through one 2cm incision.
"How many SILS hysterectomies have you performed?"
As of September 2019, We have performed over 900 SILS hysterectomies. We have only had to "open" 1 patient (C-Section type incision).
"If I have had multiple C-Sections, I am a candidate for SILS?"
Yes, while no gaurantees can be made, we have been successful at performing SILS hysterctomies on many patients who have had multiple C-sections. We have removed large fibroid uteruses (1200gm, normal is around 120gm) as well as operating on morbidly obese patients.
"What other options are there for treatment of heavy bleeding and/or pain?"
It depends on the cause of the bleeding/pain. Generally speaking, if you want the option to have children in the future, then you do not want to proceed with hysterectomy or endometrial ablation (burning the lining of the uterus away to prevent bleeding). Hormonal therapy with birth control pills or with an intra uterine system (eg. Mirena) and NSAIDS may provide symptom relief while still allowing you the potential for pregnancy in the future.
"How much pain will I have?"
Because there is only one incision, hidden in the belly button, most people have very little pain (see video on patient testimonials). We asked our first 100 SILS hyterectomy patients how much pain medicine they needed to take and 90% of the patients said that at the time of discharge (24hrs) they did not need to take anything stronger than perscription strength ibuprofen/motrin (ie. no narcotics). However, we will still send you home with adequate pain medicine as everyone heals at a different rate.
"Is this the same as a "Da Vinci" hysterectomy?"
No, Da Vinci or robotic hysterectomy uses a robot that is controlled by the surgeon to perform the surgery. It currently requires multiple incisions and the surgeon loses all tactile feedback, which I believe is critical in laparoscopic surgery.
"What other surgeries are performed using SILS?
In addition to hysterectomies, we have performed oophorectomy (removal of ovaries), ovarian cystectomy (removal of ovarian cysts), endometriosis excision, tubal ligation (sterilzation), and ectopic pregnancy removal.