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Endometrial Cancer | Minimally Invasive Surgery

From the GYN Cancer Articles List

Would a minimally invasive hysterectomy be an appropriate choice to treat endometrial cancer?Would a minimally invasive hysterectomy be an appropriate choice to treat endometrial cancer?


Minimally invasive surgery is the term used to describe laparoscopic and robotic surgeries. Unlike traditional open surgeries, which involve relatively large incisions and longer recovery times, minimally invasive procedures require only small incisions (about a half-inch each) and consequently much quicker recoveries and lower complication rates.

In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon inserts narrow tube cameras and surgical instruments through small incisions to perform the procedure with minimal bleeding and scarring. The surgeon sees the patient’s organs and other internal structures on monitors, which guide his or her work. Laparoscopic surgery has become the preferred method for many routine procedures such as appendectomies and cholecystectomies (gall bladder removal). However, some surgeons are hesitant to use laparoscopic surgery to treat cancer since it is more difficult to see where the cancer may have spread than if the surgery is open and the surgeon can use his or her hands to explore the entire body cavity and inspect organs closely for cancerous growths.

Robotic surgery, such as daVinci, gives the surgeon greater precision, control, and flexibility than manual laparoscopic surgery does. It also provides a magnified 3D view of the surgical field, making it a good option for a hysterectomy to treat endometrial cancer—if it is available at your chosen facility, and if your surgeon is trained in robotic surgery. If your physician does not recommend robotic surgery and you are interested in exploring that option, seek a second opinion from a gynecological oncologist who is trained in robotic surgery. Traditional open surgery may still be the best option for you, depending on the stage of your cancer and its location(s). But given the much shorter recovery time and lower complication rate of robotic surgery, it is certainly a question to ask before you decide what to do.

If you opt for laparoscopic or robotic surgery, be sure to check your surgeon’s training and experience. The more experience a surgeon has performing these types of specialized procedures, the higher his or her statistical success rate will be.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

08-21-2011 - 10:51 PM


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