Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery

With specialized laparoscopic instruments, a surgeon can now perform a hysterectomy, and other gynecologic procedure, through a small, 15 millimeter incision tucked away in a patient’s umbilicus or “belly button.” The radically different procedure allows for the most minimally invasive surgery imaginable. The instruments are designed to rotate and articulate, allowing for good visualization and precision.

Most patients undergoing hysterectomy with single incision laparoscopic surgery, or SILS, may go home soon after surgery, with minimal time off work.

As with almost all surgery, physician experience is an important component in determining success of your surgery. Dr. Shashoua was the first surgeon in Chicago and among the first in the country to perform single incision laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Questions to Ask Your Surgeon

  • Can you please explain why I need surgery for my condition and what type of hysterectomy I’ll be receiving?
  • What reproductive organs will be removed during the procedure?
  • What are the complications involved?
  • What is the SILSTM hysterectomy? Are you trained to perform a SILSTM hysterectomy?
  • Am I candidate for this surgery? Why or why not?
  • How do other surgical options compare to the SILSTM hysterectomy in terms of:
    • Number of incisions
    • Pain
    • Length of hospital stay
    • Recovery time
    • Scarring
  • What are the risks and benefits of each surgical option?
  • How can I best prepare for my hysterectomy?
  • After the hysterectomy procedure, what kinds of pathology tests (if any) will be performed on the organs removed?
  • How long will it take to get results from this analysis?
  • When will I be able to get back to my every day activities such as exercise, work, recreation and sexual activity?

Other things to Consider Before Your Hysterectomy

  • Consult your calendar to determine the best timing for your hysterectomy. If possible, try to schedule away from family events, vacations, heavy work schedules, etc.
  • Discuss with your doctor any existing medical conditions (allergies), health concerns or medications you are currently taking as well as your surgical history, even if you don’t think they will impact your surgery.
  • If you are diabetic, speak with your doctor about any precautions that should be taken prior to surgery to prevent infection.
  • If you have never had surgery, be sure to talk with your doctor about anesthesia and how it may affect you.
  • Coordinate with a family member or friend to help manage your check-ups, surgery date, hospital stay and recuperation time at home.
  • Seek advice from your doctor about your current exercise habits and whether it will be necessary to adjust prior to and after surgery.

Get the most out of your next appointment. Use this discussion guide when you meet with your doctor to discuss questions about your hysterectomy and whether the SILSTM hysterectomy procedure is right for you. Medical advances such as the minimally invasive SILSTM procedure may reduce the pain, scarring and recovery time typically experienced with traditional hysterectomy surgery. By getting the answers you need, you’ll be better equipped to work with your doctor to determine your best surgical options. These questions can be a great way to get the conversation started.