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Avoiding Abdominal Hysterectomy


Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Should be the Norm

In the United States, over 600,000 women undergo a hysterectomy each year, and approximately 75% are performed through a large abdominal incision instead of less invasive vaginal or laparoscopic routes. The inverse is the practice in most European countries. According to multiple medical studies, these less invasive operations not only decrease risk and expedite a patient’s recovery, but are also appropriate for the majority of procedures for benign disease. Most women with fibroids, previous pelvic surgery, and endometriosis remain excellent candidates, despite many American gynecologists’ objections to the contrary.

A large body of medical literature has clearly established that when compared to abdominal hysterectomy, vaginal and laparoscopic hysterectomy obviates the need for a large incision by accomplishing the operation without or with only button hole size skin incisions, respectively. Consequently, this minimizes disruption to bowel function, results in less bleeding, and most importantly facilitates a more rapid return to daily activities. Unfortunately, many gynecologists have limited training in advanced laparoscopic and vaginal surgery. However, some have honed their skills through post graduate education that allows them to keep current on the latest developments from around the world through organizations such as the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists.

Yet because of the special relationship most women have with their OB/Gyn, they accept their doctor’s preference for route of hysterectomy. Thanks to the internet, many women are increasingly researching their options when hysterectomy is recommended. Dr. Scott Kramer, founder of Women’s Health Specialists in Fremont, has been recognized for nearly two decades as one of the experts in laparoscopic and vaginal surgery in Northern California. “Women need to know they have choices, including alternatives to hysterectomy. Then through education they become empowered to select which route of hysterectomy they are comfortable undergoing,” emphasizes Dr. Kramer.

In addition the economics are compelling. Women who undergo an abdominal hysterectomy accumulate hospital bills for staying four days afterwards, while those undergoing a laparoscopic or vaginal hysterectomy only stay overnight. In addition imagine the lost wages that are missed if a woman then requires six to eight weeks to return to work with the former as opposed to two weeks with the later procedures? No wonder women are increasingly seeking second opinions from gynecologists who offer laparoscopic and vaginal hysterectomy.

Women and media representatives interested in learning more about minimally invasive hysterectomy should schedule a private appointment with Dr. Kramer at 510-796-7057.

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