NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It's called laparo-endoscopic single site (LESS) hysterectomy. What women remember is there's no scar.
"You can look, but you don't see anything," smiled patient Linda Jansen. And you get to go home the same day. "I would definitely recommend it," said Jansen, who had the procedure recently.
Over 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year. More than half leave a large scar over a woman's abdomen. Then there's the long recovery. For those reasons, the laparoscopic surgery is popular, but even that option requires up to four smaller incisions. LESS requires one.
This is how it works. A tiny incision is made over an existing scar, the woman's belly button.
"So that you don't have to open an abdomen up and you don't have to put multiple ports in there," explained Dr. Mitchell Silver, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Nacogdoches.
Then a single port is inserted. Silver holds the cylindrical shaped device that has three entry points.
"This part of the device is going to be in the abdomen and it's going to lock against the outer part which is against the skin right here. Okay, the port is in," demonstrated Silver.
This provides access for the essential tools. " (There's) a port for the camera, a port for the harmonic scalpel to cut with and a port to manipulate with," explained Silver.
The flexible scope maneuvers a camera. Eric Rausch likes the model he represents for Olympus. The lens is at the very tip.
" He's (Dr. Silver) able to put this scope in with the flexible tip, get it out of the way and then angle it down to get a perfect shot of the anatomy," explained Rausch during a surgery.
Right now, Silver is the only surgeon in East Texas performing the less hysterectomy. Over time, more surgeons from all fields will learn the new tool because patients drive the trend.
"I told him (Dr. Silver) which ever one that I could do that I could be back up and on my feet was what I wanted," said Jansen. "I went to my soccer's game shortly after the surgery and was back at work part time within a week. Full time in two weeks. "
For obvious reasons women are attracted to the less hysterectomy procedure, but it's not an option for all women.
"You'll hear a lot of people that do different type of procedures, laparoscopic, say I'll never even open an abdomen again. That's not true. We are all going to get into a position where it's safer to open up and do the procedure like we used to do," said Silver.
But when given a choice, minimally invasive surgery is usually the chosen method.
"I think this is where the technology is going," added Silver.
Talk with your doctor about any new procedure you may hear about. They often can often help you obtain that second opinion .