Dr. Jamie Lipeles of Marina OB/GYN in Marina Del Rey and Hawthorne, California, is among the very small number of OB/GYNs in Los Angeles with extensive experience in performing hysterectomies with the state-of-the-art da Vinci Robotic Surgical System®.
Dr. Lipeles has performed literally hundreds of hysterectomies via the da Vinci system with impeccable results for women throughout Marina Del Rey and Hawthorne, CA.
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of part of all of a woman's reproductive organs. The main organ that is removed is the uterus, which is also known as the womb. This is where a baby develops during pregnancy. In addition to uterus removal, a hysterectomy may remove other organs such as one or both ovaries (oophorectomy), fallopian tubes, and/or the cervix. When all female reproductive organs are removed, this is known as a total hysterectomy, or Lena’s choice.
The parts that are removed depending on the reason for the hysterectomy. Dr. Lipeles helps each patient decide if a partial hysterectomy or total hysterectomy is in their best interest medically on a case-by-case basis.
Hysterectomy surgery is used to treat a range of gynecological issues, including pelvic pain, fibroids, heavy/painful periods, adenomyosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and female reproductive cancers. Most patients pursue alternative treatments that are less invasive for these conditions first before considering a hysterectomy procedure.
If other treatment methods fail to produce the desired result, then a hysterectomy is often seen as the last treatment option. That is because a hysterectomy involves the permanent removal of organs. It is major surgery. Additionally, it renders a woman unable to carry a child in the womb since the uterus is no longer present.
Three kinds of hysterectomy are available today.
Though open abdominal surgery is truly an old school method for this procedure, about 60% of hysterectomies in our country are still performed this way. This is also known as an abdominal hysterectomy.
The surgeon makes a cut on the abdominal wall, which exposes the blood vessels and ligaments that surround the uterus. Instead of cutting the abdominal muscles, the muscles are usually just separated with a special tool called retractors. Now that the uterus is visible, your doctor will remove it and then close the abdominal incision.
Open incision surgery carries a greater risk for infection, blood loss, more pain, and of course, a 6 to 12-inch scar. The incisions may be placed either horizontally or vertically on the abdomen. The long scar is not always easy to hide. In addition, open surgery means a couple of nights in the hospital (approximately 2 to 3 days) and endure a recovery period of up to six weeks.
This involves removing the uterus through the vagina. The surgeon inserts special surgical tools into the vagina in order to separate the uterus from the ligaments that are holding it in place. The uterus and cervix are then removed through the incision at the top of the vagina. After this is complete, the incision is sutured closed.
It's better than an open incision hysterectomy because it is less invasive and there are no scars visible on the abdomen, however, a vaginal hysterectomy does not allow the surgeon a good view of the surgical field and surrounding organs, like the bladder. Therefore, it is not always possible to have a vaginal hysterectomy in some cases. Vaginal hysterectomy recovery is shorter and less painful than abdominal hysterectomy as well. The vaginal hysterectomy recovery time is approximately 3 to 4 weeks. Patients must abstain from sexual intercourse for 6 to 8 weeks after the procedure.
Slender instruments are inserted through smaller incisions than a traditional hysterectomy. This is made possible by the use of thin robotic arms that are controlled by your doctor from a computer. This is considered the least invasive method of hysterectomy today. With minimal incisions, pain, side effects, and recovery time are reduced. The hysterectomy scars are also much smaller than traditional hysterectomy. This is a great advantage to patients.
The short answer is no, a hysterectomy is not reversible. Women who undergo a hysterectomy are no longer able to become pregnant.
In addition to making pregnancy impossible, a hysterectomy also stops a woman’s menstrual cycle. Therefore, she will no longer bleed. For women with certain medical conditions or severe and prolonged pain due to heavy periods, this can be a huge relief. However, other treatment protocols are advised instead of hysterectomy if that patient hopes to become pregnant someday.
Since there is no viable way to perform hysterectomy reversal, it is important that a woman is confident in her decision to either not have children, or build a family by other means (such as surrogacy or adoption).
Patients are advised to avoid heavy lifting (20 lbs. or greater) for at least the first 6 weeks after undergoing a hysterectomy surgery. Rigorous physical activity and sex should also be avoided during this time.
The recovery time varies based on the type of hysterectomy you had done, along with the extent of surgery. The best advice is to rest, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, and have assistance from others in the household to make your recovery as comfortable as possible. Dr. Lipeles advises each patient of the do’s-and-don’ts after hysterectomy before the procedure takes place. Aftercare instructions are provided as well.
The latest innovation in hysterectomy procedures is the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. The system is minimally invasive; only a few tiny incisions are required. This state-of-the-art approach is significantly more complicated for the surgeon but offers immense benefits to the patient.
As with traditional laparoscopy, slender instruments are inserted through tiny incisions. The difference is that in the da Vinci system, these instruments are attached to robotic arms. The movement of the arms is manipulated with remarkable precision by Dr. Lipeles from a nearby computer. With this approach, most women go home just two hours after surgery and can resume regular activities in just two weeks.
Dr. Lipeles is one of a very few West Los Angeles gynecologists with extensive experience in performing hysterectomies utilizing the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. While it is truly the most advanced approach, delivering the best results for this surgery, the learning curve in performing hysterectomies with robotic assistance is steep.
This is why so few OB/GYNs provide robotic-assisted hysterectomies and also why patients should always select a surgeon who has extensive experience in using this technology.
Not only has Dr. Lipeles performed hundreds of hysterectomies with the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, but he also teaches other physicians how to use this sophisticated approach.
Is a hysterectomy right for you? At Marina OB/GYN, we understand that a hysterectomy is a big decision. Dr. Lipeles is with you every step of the way and is glad to answer questions so you can make a confident choice about your feminine health.
With our modern hysterectomy, our doctors take advantage of the least invasive treatment options to result in a great patient outcome while minimizing potential hysterectomy complications. To inquire about a hysterectomy, schedule your private consultation with Dr. Lipeles at Marina OB/GYN by calling the office or using our convenient online scheduling system. We look forward to meeting you.