30% of all women have Uterine fibroids - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

30% of all women have Uterine fibroids

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One-third of American women experience some type of pelvic health disorder. Up to 80% of women will develop fibroids by age 50.

Uterine fibroids are extremely common.  As a matter of fact, 30% of all women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s have them.

“Fibroids are masses that grow in the uterus, and they come from a cell which starts growing abnormally, and they just form a round mass in the uterus,“ said Denise Lochner, M.D. Obstetrics and Gynecology at Corpus Christi Medical Center.

These uterine fibroid tumors are usually benign and generally found on the smooth muscles of the uterus and can cause pelvic pain, infertility, and heavy menstrual bleeding. 

“A woman should see her gynecologist once a year. But if she has not had a visit in a while or things are changing, the things she needs to be looking for are heavy periods that are not going away and lasting more than a week. If she is having bleeding between her periods, if she has pelvic pain that lasts for more than a week, or she is having urinary symptoms,  said Dr.Lochner.

 If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or pressure, there are several less-invasive options for treating fibroids.

 One is using the da Vinci robotic  procedure.

“When the surgeon actually uses the 3D technology that is available with the da Vinci robot, they actually have better, enhanced visualization which allows a more individualized approach to the procedure. The instruments are also more involved than the traditional laparoscopic approach, and they have what you call endowrist technology, which is where they rotate at the tip to allow the surgeon to reach more challenging aspects of the procedure and completed in a timely fashion,” said Dr.Lochner.   


 Many women who have fibroids don't have any symptoms. In those that do, symptoms can be influenced by the location, size and number of fibroids. In women who have symptoms, the most common symptoms of uterine fibroids include:

Heavy menstrual bleeding 

Menstrual periods lasting more than a week 

Pelvic pressure or pain

 Frequent urination 

Difficulty emptying the bladder 


Backache or leg pains


If you plan to have surgery to remove fibroids, the operation is called a myomectomy. This surgery enables your doctor to remove the fibroid(s) and keep your uterus in place. A myomectomy can be done using open surgery through one large incision (cut). It can also be done using minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy), which also includes da Vinci® Surgery.

Robot-assisted surgery enables surgeons to operate through a few small incisions, instead of a large incision. 

The da Vinci System is a robotically-assisted surgical device that your surgeon is in control of at all times. The da Vinci System gives surgeons:

· A 3D HD view inside your body

· Wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand

· Enhanced vision, precision and control

da Vinci Myomectomy offers the following potential benefits compared to open surgery:

· Similar rate of complications

· Shorter hospital stay

· Lower rate of blood transfusions

· Less blood loss

· Less chance of a post-operative fever

See your doctor if you have:

Pelvic pain that doesn't go away 

Overly heavy, prolonged or painful periods 

Spotting or bleeding between periods 

Difficulty emptying your bladder 

Seek prompt medical care if you have severe vaginal bleeding or sharp pelvic pain that comes on suddenly.

There's no single best approach to uterine fibroid treatment — many treatment options exist. If you have symptoms, talk with your doctor about options.

Some of the most exciting advances in medicine involve the use of robotic surgery, or computer-assisted surgery. In this minimally invasive technique, the surgeon sits at a computer station allowing him or her to see enlarged, 3D images of the body. The robotic system translates the doctor’s hand movements to control the instruments during surgery. These instruments can move through smaller incisions with greater precision.

Corpus Christi Medical Center is the only hospital in the Coastal Bend area that offers minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci® Si Robotic Surgical System. Robotic surgery can replace large-incision surgeries (open surgery) with a minimally invasive approach that results in less pain, smaller scars, minimal blood loss and faster recovery time when compared to traditional surgical techniques.

"With the use of the  da Vinci Surgical System, surgeons and hospital are re-writing accepted standards for surgical care. My hope is that this state of-the-art- technology will spark their interest and inspire them to becoming health professionals," said Denise Lochner, M.D. Obstetrics and Gynecology at Corpus Christi Medical Center.

Robotic Surgery Procedures:

Corpus Christi Medical Center uses the da Vinci® system for a broad range of conditions and surgical specialties including:

·         Abdominal surgery - gallbladder

·         Colorectal surgery

·         Gynecological surgery – hysterectomy (including single-site hysterectomy), myomectomy, endometrial resection

·         Urology surgery – prostatectomy

·         Neck Surgery - tumor

Procedures that are not performed robotically may still qualify for laparoscopic surgery (LS). LS, also called band-aid or keyhole surgery, is a minimally invasive surgery that only requires small incisions.

Robotic Surgery Benefits:

•  shortened hospital stay

•  less pain scarring
•  less risk of infection 
•  less blood loss and transfusions
•  faster recovery
•  quicker return to activities 

Robotic surgery has improved many surgical procedures because it offers the surgeon better precision and control. Robotic surgery translates into faster healing, less scarring and a shorter hospital stay for the patient. Traditional surgical methods typically use 6- to 12-inch incisions. The da Vinci® system uses dime-sized incisions to produce the same or better results. A single-site incision is now possible for certain surgeries, and in some cases, the incision can be hidden inside the navel, for a totally scar-free appearance.

The da Vinci® Si System's features include:

·         Enhanced high-definition 3D vision for precision control of surgical instruments

·         Lets surgeons perform delicate and complex operations using only a few small incisions

·         Dual surgeon-console capability to support training and collaboration during minimally invasive surgery

Our dedicated team is trained in the latest use of robotics for many surgical procedures, including hysterectomies and gallbladder surgeries.

Single Site Surgery

Depending on the patient’s circumstances, many robotic surgeries can be done using a single incision. Called single-site surgery, the tiny incision (usually through the belly button) means little to no scars, less risk of infection and shorter recovery time.

Each patient (and surgery) is different, but many hysterectomies and gastrointestinal (GI) procedures can be performed as single-site surgery.

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