Health on Wheels
Minimally Invasive Gynecological Procedures Offer New Options
Michelle Wynes is enjoying her work as a bus driver more now following her minimally invasive hysterectomy. Before her surgery, she experienced painful periods.
A New Life
Laparoscopic Surgery Relieves Woman's Painful Periods
Michelle Wynes' gynecologic problems began seven years ago. She began experiencing heavier bleeding and more cramping.Her pain made it harder to perform her day job — driving school buses for Prince William County.
She was becoming increasingly convinced that she wanted a
Leonard Rosen, MD, who had delivered all three of her children, learned of her problems this year. A total workup was completed. Since she was done with childbearing, the decision was made to proceed with the removal of the ovaries and a hysterectomy — but not the traditional surgery. He arranged for her to have a da Vinci hysterectomy, a surgery that required only four small incisions on her belly, in line with her navel. The surgeon used the da Vinci robotic arm to remove her uterus laparoscopically.
"The surgery, which is minimally invasive, has numerous benefits, including less pain; fewer complications; a shorter hospital stay; quicker recovery, as compared to a traditional
hysterectomy with a 6- to 8-inch incision; and return to normal activities," Rosen says.
Wynes couldn't be more pleased. Just two weeks after undergoing the outpatient procedure on Feb. 28, she was back at her job driving buses.
"My quality of life has improved tenfold," she said in May. "The only time I've had to miss work was a child being sick." And when she went on vacation to Atlantic City for spring break, she really saw the benefits.
"There was no extra packing of toiletries, no worries I would have a revealing mess and have to have extra outfits. There was none of it," she says. "It's one less thing you have to worry about when you walk out of the door each morning."
It used to be that the only way to treat a serious female
medical condition,such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids
or heavy bleeding, was open surgery. Not so anymore.
"While conditions affecting a
woman's reproductive organs
have not changed much over the
years, our approach to treating
them has improved dramatically,"
says Ray Wertheim, MD. "Our
goal is to offer the least invasive
treatment option available when
surgery is necessary, so our
patients can return to living and
enjoying their lives as quickly as
When surgery is necessary,
Inova Fair Oaks Hospital offers a
diverse assortment of minimally
invasive procedures including
latest techniques of advanced
laparoscopic surgery (ALS) and
"ALS can be done with as few as
two 5-millimeter incisions,"
states Natalya Danilyants, MD.
"The 2-port hysterectomy has
the fewest and smallest incisions
of all minimally invasive
"The advantage of robotic
surgery is in the visualization
that is provided to the surgeon
by the 3D HD magnified view and
the 540-degree of motion in the
wrist of the robotic arm," says
Leonard Rosen, MD.
One of the most common
endometriosis, can be treated
with minimally invasive
occurs when tissues that usually
grow inside the uterus instead
grow on the outside, often on
the surfaces of organs in the
pelvis or abdomen, and can
cause extreme pain. When
medications do not resolve
endometriosis and severe pain
remains, your healthcare
provider may recommend
|This circle shows serious gynecological conditions (inside) and their respective surgical solutions (outside).
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years and affect as many as 3 out of 4 women. In addition to treatments gynecologists offer, interventional radiologists can treat uterine fibroids using a technique called embolization, which blocks the blood flow to the fibroids.
Menorrhagia, or heavy bleeding, was once a condition often treated by performing a hysterectomy, the surgical removal of a woman's uterus. Much less invasive treatment options are now available.
||We Like Questions
The members of the Inova Fair Oaks Hospital Minimally Invasive Gynecology Surgery Department are dedicated to providing
Leonard Rosen, MD, will offer a lecture, "Minimally Invasive Treatments for Uterine Fibroids," on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. To register, call 855-My-Inova (694-6682) or visit
|Leonard Rosen, MD
us here to register.
excellent patient care with the
attention to detail necessary to
deliver safe, compassionate
If you have questions or would
like more information on any of
the procedures mentioned,
attend one of our community
lectures or call Lynne Kennedy
at 703-391-4841. Keep in mind:
Women have choices. Talk to
your doctor about available
The Place to Be
Inova Fair Oaks Hospital has been designated a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology. As an expert in MIG, the hospital is hosting an educational event to teach other physicians the latest techniques in MIG.
Laparoscopy Eliminates Painful Condition
Carol Lunkins had uterine fibroid tumors for years, but she had been told, "If they don't bother you, you don't bother them."
Then they started bothering her. Her menstrual cycle was heavy, she was frequently urinating and her iron level was low. After researching options, she decided she wanted minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.
When her gynecologist told her that the fibroids were too big for this procedure, she got a second opinion. She talked to Natalya Danilyants, MD, who set up surgery for within a week — on March 11 of this year.
Lunkins feels grateful for the procedure and the outcome. "It was marvelous," says Lunkins, a project manager for the U.S. Postal Service. "I didn't want an open cut, a really big scar. With this procedure, it's just a very, very small incision and basically you can't ever really see it. I was only down a couple of days and was up walking around."
"Advanced laparoscopic surgery can be a great option for uterine fibroids," Dr. Danilyants says. "Even though it's a complete hysterectomy, it can be done outpatient and offers the benefit of shorter recovery time."
Months after the procedure, Lunkins remarked that her energy levels were higher, allowing her to do things she had not done before. These included cleaning the house from "top to bottom," shopping more and arriving to work at 7 a.m. — two hours earlier than before. "I'm getting out, exercising more and it has improved my quality of life," she says.