Robot Assisted Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
What you should know
Robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy (RH) is surgery to remove your uterus and cervix using a machine controlled by your surgeon. Your ovaries, fallopian tubes, supporting tissues, some lymph nodes, and the top of your vagina may also be removed. After RH, you will not be able to become pregnant. You will go through menopause if your ovaries are removed.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your bladder, ureters, or intestines could be cut during surgery. You can develop a hernia. You may need incisions that are larger than expected. Your stitches may come apart.
- Fistulas (openings) may form between the bladder and vagina. You may have problems urinating for a period of time. Long-term problems with urination may happen if nerves are damaged. You may need another surgery to treat these problems. You may get a blood clot in your leg. This may become life-threatening.
The week before your surgery:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- You may need blood tests and a chest x-ray before your surgery. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.
The night before your surgery:
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
- Bowel cleansing may be needed. You may be given medicine to drink or an enema. An enema is liquid put into your rectum to help empty your bowel.
The day of your surgery:
- Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
You will receive general anesthesia to keep you asleep during surgery. One or more small incisions will be made in your abdomen. Your surgeon will use the robotic arms to place a laparoscope and other tools inside your abdomen through the incisions. A laparoscope is a long, thin tube with a light and camera on the end. Your surgeon will put carbon dioxide into your abdomen so he can see the area better. He will use the machine to look inside your abdomen and guide the robotic arms. He will use the tools attached to the robotic arms to remove your uterus, cervix, or other tissues. These tissues are removed through the incisions in your abdomen or through your vagina. The incisions will be closed with stitches.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. You will have bandages over your incisions help prevent infection. You will also need to wear a sanitary pad after surgery.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your surgery.
- You have a fever.
- You get a cold or the flu.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery.
Seek Care Immediately if
- Your symptoms get worse.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.