If you had to have surgery and you knew you weren't going to have any visible scars you'd opt for that right? We show us how an Avera Gynecologic Oncologist made history last month when he removed a patients ovaries through her belly button.
Dr. Luis Rojas with the Avera Women's Center for Gynecologic Cancer is the first in his field gynecologist in the region to perform a single port laporascopic surgery to remove a patient's ovaries. He is participating in clinical trial with the Cleveland Clinic to see if the post operative pain is less with a single, virtually scarless incision through the belly button. This trial only relates to removing ovaries this way. As we've showed you in a previous story, surgeons at Avera McKennan are already taking out gall bladders through the belly button.
Dr. Luis Rojas says, "This translates to a less aggressive surgery, a better outcome and less scar tissue. So far the preliminary findings are showing women who have had this proceedure are in need of pain medications for only 2 or 3 days following surgery. So it's showing great promise. Plus, if something gets complicated during surgery we could always revert back to a different method."
The actual incision is only 1 1/2 to 2 cm long. Dr. Rojas makes it in the shape of a moon to contour the same shape of the belly button. After he sews it up, you really would never see it unless you go looking for it.
Dr. Rojas says, "That's the incision on the skin. Then we make an incision inside the body. We spread the membranes that hold the abdomen called the fascia to what ever length we want and insert the port .
Instead of a traditional laporascopic surgery where you have three incisions for three instruments (one for the camera, one for the gas to extend the belly and one surgical instrument), this type of surgery uses only one incision and all three instruments go through that single port.
Dr. Rojas says, "It makes it more challenging because the instruments collide but it really doesn't take any longer usually about 35 to 45 minutes."
The patient is 43 year old Christina Chelgren a breast cancer survivor who's tumors are being fed through estrogen. Her treatment plan has included a bi-lateral mastectomy, a hysterectomy and on May 23rd the removal of her ovaries. When Dr. Rojas asked her if she wanted to participate in the trial she gladly accepted knowing she had everything to gain, except another scar.
We will be checking in with the patient in a couple of weeks when she has her follow up exam with Dr. Rojas.
We too want to see how her recovery has been.