Beebe Medical Center is the first hospital in Delaware and on the Delmarva Peninsula—and one of
only 15 in the United States—to be named a Center of Excellence in Women’s Health
by the American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery (AIMIS).
In addition, obstetrician/gynecologists Steven D. Berlin, MD (left), Leo H. Eschbach, Jr., DO (center), and Vincent
B. Killeen, MD, have been recognized and accredited for their expertise in minimally
invasive gynecologic surgery by AIMIS,
which also has designated their private practice, Bayside Health Association Chtd., as a
Practice of Excellence.
This recognition by AIMIS means that Beebe Medical Center—together with Drs.
Killeen, Berlin, and Eschbach—offers minimally invasive gynecologic
surgery, particularly laparoscopic hysterectomy, that has produced excellent patient
outcomes and meets the highest standards of quality and safety as set by the American
Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery.
For many years, the primary option for women requiring traditional hysterectomy
was major invasive surgery. But no longer. Today, minimally invasive laparoscopic
hysterectomy (LH) offers an alternative that is less painful, requires a shorter hospital
stay, allows for faster recovery, and lowers the risk of infection. By making LH available
locally to patients in Delaware and on the Delmarva Peninsula, Beebe Medical Center is
providing primary care physicians and their patients with an opportunity to discuss the
benefits of LH and choose the option that best suits their health needs.
What is hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy may involve removal of the uterus, the uterus and the cervix, and,
for some conditions, the fallopian tubes and ovaries. One in three women in the United States undergo
hysterectomy by age 60.
The procedure is used to treat fibroids (non-cancerous uterine growths); endometriosis
(when growth of uterine tissue affects other abdominal organs); uterine prolapse (uterus
moves within the abdomen, causing urinary problems, pelvic pressure, and other
problems); cancer; persistent vaginal bleeding; and chronic pelvic pain.
Traditionally, open hysterectomy usually requires patients to spend three to four days in
the hospital and up to six weeks recovery from a painful abdominal incision. With only
tiny incisions, laparoscopic hysterectomy allows patients to go home the same day, and
they can resume normal activity in one to two weeks.
Dr. Killeen with a patient.
The laparoscopic procedure
In recent years, with the advent of ever-improving imaging technologies and precision
instruments, awareness has increased regarding the benefits of LH over traditional
The primary instrument used in the procedure is the laparoscope, a slender, fiber-optic wand equipped with a miniature camera, lights, and surgical instruments. The
laparoscope allows surgeons to see inside the abdomen and provides technical access to
the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes without having to make a large incision.
The laparoscope is inserted through a small abdominal incision of one-quarter to one-half
inch in length. As many as three other incisions of similar length may be made depending
on the type of LH being performed. The incisions, if needed, are used for additional
surgical instruments. Even a large uterus can be removed laparoscopically using this
technique. By contrast, a traditional hysterectomy requires an abdominal incision of four
to eight inches.
Benefits of Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Minimally invasive laparoscopic hysterectomy produces excellent patient outcomes and
offers many advantages over a traditional hysterectomy, including:
Shorter hospital stay. In most cases, LH patients are discharged the same
day or require an overnight stay, versus a three-day or four-day stay for traditional
Little to no blood loss as a result of smaller, shallower incisions.
Lower risk of abdominal infection and other complications.
Less pain. Patients generally can use a non-narcotic pain reliever if one is needed,
as opposed to IV morphine or other prescription painkillers often given to patients
who have a traditional hysterectomy.
Faster recovery time. LH patients typically return to normal activities within one
to two weeks, compared to four to six weeks for traditional hysterectomy.
Minimal scarring. In many patients the scars become virtually unnoticeable.
One disadvantage of LH is that it takes approximately 25 minutes longer to perform, on
average, than a traditional hysterectomy under general anesthesia.
Dr. Eschbach consults with a patient.
When Laparoscopic Hysterectomy is indicated
Typically, the LH procedure is indicated as a treatment for serious uterine and reproductive
system conditions when pharmaceutical and other non-surgical treatment options have
failed. These include:
Reproductive system cancers, including uterine, cervical, ovarian, and
endometrium, or tumors
- Severe and intractable endometriosis and adenomyosis
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Uterine fibroids
- Vaginal prolapse
All these conditions and diseases are candidates for LH as an alternative to traditional
hysterectomy. For a small percentage of patients, however, LH is not recommended. This
is typically the case for patients who are obese, have a history of prior abdominal surgery
that may have resulted in the formation of dense scar tissue, or have another underlying
For more information on Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, please call 000-000.