Revolutionary Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery Offered at
Willimantic—Surgeons at Windham Hospital are among the first in the country to perform “single site” laparoscopic surgery. This surgery gives women one of the least invasive surgical methods available for many gynecological procedures. These procedures include hysterectomy, oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries), salpingectomy (removal of fallopian tubes), ovarian cystectomy and tubal ligation.
Typically, laparoscopic surgery, performed with a fiberoptic camera inside a patient’s belly, requires two or three incisions. With “single-site” laparoscopy, only one incision is made in umbilicus (belly button). The incision becomes invisible because it is buried in the folds of the umbilicus. Locating the incision in the umbilicus may also lead to less pain and a faster recovery time.
Robert Gildersleeve, MD, of Mansfield OB/GYN, performs the procedure at Windham Hospital. He says this technique is another advancement in minimally invasive surgical options for women.
“Incisions for an abdominal hysterectomy are about 10 to 12 centimeters long. Conventional laparoscopy uses 3-4 incisions about half an inch in size. Single site surgery utilizes one incision about an inch in size. Laparoscopic hysterectomies can be done in almost all cases, yet, about 50 percent of hysterectomies done in the US are done abdominally according to the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists,” says Gildersleeve. “The services being offered at Windham Hospital in terms of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery are really second to none. ”
Gildersleeve says recovery in the first week after surgery is typically the same for laparoscopic and “single site” laparoscopic patients.
“Most people are a little uncomfortable after the first week but we notice less pain in the second, third or fourth week after surgery in patients who’ve had the ‘single-site’ procedure,” says Gildersleeve.
Kathleen Zacherl, MD, of Mansfield OB/GYN, also performs the minimally invasive procedure at Windham Hospital. Zacherl agrees that the overall recovery time is faster than other surgical alternatives.
“I had a patient who had her fallopian tubes and ovaries removed who went back to work in two days,” says Zacherl. “It’s satisfying to see a patient post op who’s feeling great so soon.”
Both Gildersleeve and Zacherl agree “single site” laparoscopy is not recommend in all cases and may be difficult to perform in some instances especially on patients who are obese.
“The ‘single site’ procedure is a consideration to be discussed with patients when preparing for surgery,” says Gildersleeve. “If it’s appropriate, we’ll recommend it.”
Windham Hospital, founded in 1933, is a non-profit, acute-care community hospital serving 19 eastern Connecticut towns. It has 131 beds, conducts nearly 4,000 surgeries annually, and its emergency department has been ranked among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide for patient satisfaction.
Mansfield OB/GYN has offices at 21 Ledgebrook Drive, Mansfield Center, CT, Windham Hospital at 112 Mansfield Avenue, Willimantic, CT, and will be opening another office in Hebron in the spring of 2013. Care is provided through six physicians and three midwives.