Hidden Scar, Single Incision Hysterectomy

April 07, 2014
Dr. Edward Schwartzenburg, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with Drs. Schwartzenburg, Lafranca, Guidry, and Chapman, performed the region’s first single-incision robotic hysterectomy at Woman’s Hospital on January 29, 2014. In addition to a single incision hidden in the naval, patient benefits of the robotic surgical approach include less blood loss, fewer complications and a quicker recovery.
“Traditional hysterectomies require a large abdominal incision or multi-incision for more recent laparoscopic procedures. For women who qualify, this is an exciting time. The single incision procedure takes a little more than an hour and the patient is out of the hospital by the next day,” says Dr. Schwartzenburg. “Nearly all resume normal activities within two to three weeks.”
Dr. Schwartzenburg has performed hundreds of robotic gynecologic surgeries at Woman’s using the da Vinci Robotics System. In February 2013, the FDA approved usage of the instrumentation on the robot that allows a surgeon to enter a patient’s body through the bellybutton and remove the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Surgeon benefits of robotic surgery include increased dexterity, control and high-definition 3-D vision.
In the past, traditional hysterectomies would leave a large scar in the lower abdomen. Now, patients will be left with a practically invisible scar within the natural folds of their navel.  During the surgery, a one inch incision is made in the patient’s bellybutton allowing a port, or tube, to be placed in the opening. Through this port, the robot’s camera and two arm-like structures enter the patient’s abdomen to perform the operation.
Currently, this single-incision approach to hysterectomy has only been FDA-approved to treat benign conditions requiring a hysterectomy and removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes. For more information, call Drs. Schwartzenburg, Lafranca, Guidry, and Chapman at 225-928-5951.