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A 41-year-old mother and preschool teacher was the first patient to undergo a single-incision laparoscopic hysterectomy at Methodist West Houston Hospital.

The single-incision advancement allows surgeons to insert a specialized port through an incision in the belly button and use multiple laparoscopic devices simultaneously.  Surgeons can perform a hysterectomy and other procedures and leave virtually no physical evidence. Additional advantages may include less bleeding, infection, hernia formation and less pain.

Dr. Byron Holt, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Methodist West Houston, who previously delivered Krista Vicklund’s three children, performed the surgery (Nov. 16, 2011) to remove her uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, and repair an umbilical hernia.

“Ms. Vicklund was an appropriate candidate for this surgery due to disabling levels of pain and discomfort that significantly disrupted her active lifestyle,” Holt says. “I have performed over a thousand multiport procedures, with excellent results, but the availability of Methodist West Houston’s specialized instrumentation gives patients the option of further refinement in terms of recovery and the potential of a quick return to normal activities.”

Hysterectomies are the most common non-pregnancy related surgery in women in the U.S. and used to treat uterine cancer and other uterine conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis or prolapse. Close to 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually in the U.S.  Despite availability of a conventional multiport laparoscopic alternative, the majority of surgeries are still abdominal, requiring six to eight weeks of recovery and leaving a large scar.

“After my third pregnancy, I had real difficulty. It continually felt like I was having a baby without any of the joy,” Vicklund says.  “I was considering a multi-incision procedure but when Dr. Holt told me about the benefits of this latest advance, I said, ‘let’s go!’  I’m looking forward to walking and jogging and getting back to the gym with my husband without any discomfort or concerns.”

Vicklund was released the day after her surgery, recovered well and was back to work as a preschool teacher within a week and a half.

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