Becoming a Gynecologic Robotic Surgery Patient
While the great majority of women who undergo a hysterectomy each year experience a traditional, open approach, many of these patients would benefit from robotic surgery. Our surgeons are committed to helping you find out if you are a candidate for a minimally invasive approach. During your initial consult, a detailed history will be reviewed and a gentle exam performed. If you have had other opinions or imaging studies at other hospitals, it is helpful to bring these along for review during your visit with us. Sometimes a decision must be put off until further test results can be obtained. Our surgeons will always strive to explain your options, putting you in control of your own health care. If surgery is required, we will make every effort to offer you the easiest and safest treatment for your problem, often using a laparoscopic or robotic approach. Ultimately, we want what you want … the best, safest, and least painful way to restore you back to full health.
It all starts with one phone call to our appointment desk. Our schedulers will verify your insurance, and take down information about your problem. We will make every attempt to accommodate consultation requests within two weeks, but due to the large numbers of patients seeking treatment, it may occasionally take longer to schedule the initial visit.
Call us at 909-558-5145 to set up your first appointment with one of our physicians and determine if robotic surgery is right for you.
Preparing for Surgery
A few general recommendations in the weeks before surgery will positively impact your recovery time:
- Eat foods high in fiber – fruits, vegetables and whole grains will help ensure optimum colon health
- Walk as much as possible – the better shape you’re in before surgery, the easier your recovery will be; use this time for positive thinking and reflection
- Make things easier for yourself when you return home – clean your house (or have it cleaned for you), buy healthy groceries that are easy to prepare, gather books from the library and other hobbies you enjoy, have prescriptions filled before surgery
- Arrange time off work and coverage issues beforehand, so you can relax after surgery. Our surgery schedulers will assist you in arranging your medical disability
- Talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have before surgery.
Some common questions for your doctor are listed below:
- How long will surgery take?
- Exactly what will be removed? Uterus, ovaries, tubes, cervix, appendix? (How will these organs be removed? Through abdominal incision? Through the vagina? With the help of a laparoscope?)
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- How long will I be on bed rest?
- Will a pathology report be done of all the organs removed? I do want one done.
- How long for the results of the pathology report to come in? (If cancer is suspected, when will I begin cancer treatments and what options are there?)
- If I'm taking BC pills or HRT, do I stop taking them prior to surgery? If so, how long before?
- What medication will I be on for pain in the hospital and when I am home?
- Will the doctor perform a bladder repair? (If you have incontinence, this is the time to bring it up as this is the best time for bladder and/or rectum repair)
- Will the doctor use a tummy binder on me? Will I need one?
- If my ovaries are being removed, when will I start hormones (HRT)? Most important: will the doctor help me to adjust if needed or should I see my family doctor to help with this?
- If I am keeping my ovaries, how will I know if they are working post-op? if they shut down temporarily and I experience hot flashes, how long will I endure menopause symptoms before the ovaries kick back in?
- Will I need any preparation before surgery? (enema, stool softener, liquid diet, etc)
- When will I be able to resume driving?
- How long will I be off work?
- Will I be able to lift my baby? If not, how much can I lift safely at 4 weeks, at 6 weeks?
- When can I return to the gym?
- I take certain meds regularly (list your meds, including over-the-counter meds and supplements), will I be allowed to take these to the hospital with me?
- I've heard that there is a problem with gas after surgery and have been told that over-the-counter medicines such as Gas-X can help. Is it OK if I take some along to the hospital with me?
- What kind of anesthesia will I have?
- What are the restrictions for any sort of sexual activity after surgery? Is external stimulation allowed and if so, how soon? When can intercourse be resumed?
LLUMC’s Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery Center accepts most insurances. Please confirm with the office prior to making your appointment.