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Major surgery has minimal side effects on patient

Bolingbrook – Two Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital doctors recently performed the hospital’s first successful laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy on a 40-year-old patient.  This minimally invasive surgery allows the patient to get back to her daily routine in just a few days, compared to traditional hysterectomies that can leave a patient in recovery for up to six weeks.

While this extremely technical procedure is not performed by most physicians, Dr. Karenmarie Meyer, obstetrician/gynecologist and hospitalist, and Dr. Robin Whatley, obstetrician/gynecologist, were able to complete the surgery in less than one-and-a-half hours. This type of hysterectomy is often preferred by patients because it is a technique that removes the uterus while leaving the cervix intact.

“There are many advantages to this type of surgery,” said Meyer.  “Patients who receive this procedure experience significantly less pain, barely any scarring, and are able to go home in only 24 hours.  Most patients are even back to work in just a few days.”

A laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy is performed through three small incisions.  Each incision is about one centimeter long and occurs at the base of the belly button and near the hip bones. Carbon dioxide gas fills the abdomen and the laparoscope goes in through the belly button incision. During the procedure, the uterus is cut away from the cervix and its blood supply.  Then the cervix is supported by permanent sutures that keep it from falling.  The morcellator, which is a tube with a round blade on the end, is inserted through the belly button and is used to cut the uterus into strips that are pulled out through a tube.

“I chose this type of hysterectomy because I couldn’t afford to be laid up for several weeks,” said the patient, who prefers to remain anonymous.  “With this minimally invasive hysterectomy, I was sore for just a few days and had minimal scarring.  I am definitely happy with the procedure.”

Meyer, who has been performing this type of advanced laparoscopic surgery for three years, says a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy can take only one to three hours to complete.  Some other benefits of the procedure include shorter recovery time, significantly less pain, less nausea, easier use of oral medication, and a smaller chance of complications.  It is a major surgery that results in only minor side effects.

“This is a great alternative for our patients,” said Meyer.  “I am so pleased to offer it, because this surgery allows patients to get back to their families, jobs, and lives faster that if they had most other procedures.”

Meyer has been a part of the Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital team for nearly a year and has been performing laparoscopic surgeries for 20 years.  She is an excellent advisor to her colleagues because she is extremely experienced and knowledgeable on these types of surgeries.

“We are blessed to have such hard-working doctors treating patients at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital,” said Chief Executive Officer Rick Mace.  “These talented doctors provide exceptional care to each of our patients.”