SILS™ Hysterectomy at Piedmont Medical Center

Piedmont Medical Center is proud to offer York County residents one of the newest advancements in laparoscopic hysterectomy: Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS™). This new form of laparoscopic surgery has the potential to shorten the recovery time and leave almost no visible scar when compared to other hysterectomy procedures.

More than 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the U.S. each year; it is now the second most common surgery for women of reproductive age. A doctor may recommend this surgery for several reasons including fibroid tumors, endometriosis, or cancer. If you are considering a hysterectomy, you may want to talk to your doctor about whether you are a candidate for SILS™, and how other hysterectomy options compare.

Is SILS right for you?

PMC Celebrates 600th SILS

The Benefits of a SILS Hysterectomy

Contact our SILS team

Ready to make an appointment with a specialized SILS™ GYN surgeon to discuss your options or to learn more about the latest advancement in laparoscopic surgery for hysterectomies at Piedmont Medical Center?

Hysterectomies are performed one of four ways:

SILS™ Hysterectomy

SILS Hysterectomy after photo, virtually no scarring

The latest advancement in laparoscopic surgery, the SILS™ hysterectomy allows for the removal of the uterus through a small incision (slightly smaller than the diameter of a nickel) in the belly button. The SILS™ hysterectomy offers many potential benefits over other approaches, including:
  • No visible scar
  • Less pain due to fewer incisions compared to traditional laparoscopic surgery
  • Faster recovery time than open surgery

Abdominal Hysterectomy

Abdominal Hysterectomy, scar is on lower abdomen below belly buttonAlso known as open surgery, an abdominal hysterectomy is considered the most invasive kind of surgery. Doctors typically will make one large incision approximately 5 - 7 inches in the lower abdomen (below the belly button) to remove the uterus and, as necessary, other organs.

Recovery from open surgery generally requires a 2 - 3 day stay in the hospital and up to 6 weeks of recuperation time at home. This surgery can result in a large, noticeable scar on the abdomen.

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, two small scars on either side of the belly are visibleStandard laparoscopic surgery is performed through 3 - 5 incisions (including an incision in the belly button) in the abdominal wall. Long thin devices are inserted through these incisions to remove the uterus. Patients who undergo a laparoscopic hysterectomy typically resume work and other activities within 2 weeks. This surgery may result in several noticeable scars.

Vaginal Hysterectomy and LAVH

In a vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed through a small incision in the vagina. In many cases, this procedure requires additional incisions in the abdomen for instrument access. This hybrid approach is known as laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH). Average patient recovery time is 3 - 4 weeks. Vaginal hysterectomy and LAVH result in an internal incision, or the combination of an internal incision and multiple abdominal scars, respectively.

How the SILS™ Hysterectomy Works

an instrument that is equipped with three distinct openings used in surgery.
SILS™ Port – A soft and flexible instrument that is equipped with three distinct openings used in surgery. Photo courtesy of Covidien.

The latest advancement in laparoscopic surgery, a hysterectomy performed using the SILS™ Port allows for the removal of the uterus through a small incision made in the belly button which measures 2 cm, or slightly smaller than the diameter of a nickel. To perform this procedure, the surgeon will insert into the belly button a SILS™ Port, a soft and flexible instrument equipped with three distinct openings, allowing for the use of three surgical devices at the same time. When the surgery is complete, the SILS™ Port is removed from the belly button, leaving one incision which may not be visible upon healing. Recovery from the SILS™ hysterectomy may be similar to the 2 week recovery time associated with laparoscopic hysterectomy; however, laparoscopic hysterectomies may require multiple incisions. In addition to hysterectomy, the SILS™ procedure is being used for various other surgeries such as gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy), kidney removal (nephrectomy), and gastric banding.

Compare Your Options

You may have a choice regarding the type of surgical procedure you undergo for hysterectomy. The SILS™ hysterectomy offers many potential benefits over other approaches, including the potential for no visible scar, less pain (due to fewer incisions compared to traditional laparoscopic surgery), and a faster recovery time than open surgery. SILS™ can also be used for minor surgical procedures such as removal of ovaries and cysts. The table below details the differences between the various options. These results detailed below are typical – your results may vary.

chart comparing the four different types of hysterectomies

Understanding Your Options

Length of hospital stay, recovery time, incisions, and scarring will vary depending on the type of hysterectomy that is performed, so it is important to consult with your doctor about what option is right for you. In an abdominal hysterectomy procedure, a 5 - 7 inch incision is made in the abdomen. This invasive surgery typically requires a 2 - 3 day hospital stay and up to 6 weeks of home recovery time. More recently developed methods include the laparoscopic hysterectomy and laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH). These types of surgeries are less invasive, but usually still require several small incisions. Average recovery time for LAVH patients is 3 - 4 weeks, and for laparoscopic patients is around 2 weeks.

Piedmont Medical Center’s SILS™ Surgeons

Not all surgeons are able to perform SILS™ surgery. Piedmont’s SILS™ surgeons are all board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Craig McClelland, MD first SILS hysterectomy in Charlotte Area

Craig McClelland, MD

Medical Education: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Residency: Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

Dr. McClelland was the first physician in the Charlotte area to perform Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS™) for hysterectomies. As of August 2012, he has successfully performed more than 400 single incision total laparoscopic hysterectomies. He teaches this revolutionary procedure to surgeons from around the country at a monthly course held at Piedmont Medical Center’s Women’s Center. He has travelled nationally and internationally teaching and speaking on Single Incision Gynecologic Surgery, and has trained more than 70 surgeons since 2009.
Joe C Robinson, MD

Joe C. Robinson, MD

Medical Education: University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
Residency: Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Ansley L Hilton, MD

Ansley L. Hilton, MD

Medical Education: University of South Carolina, cum laude, Columbia, SC
Residency: Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC