vNOTES Makes Hysterectomy Safer, Faster, and More Cost Effective for Patients

There is great news for the 600,000 women each year whose doctors recommended they undergo a hysterectomy. vNOTES is a non-invasive method to perform a traditional hysterectomy, improved with technology. This outpatient procedure is typically completed in about 45 minutes, start to finish, with the patient usually able to return home 2 hours later. vNOTES, or vaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery, uses specialized instruments inserted through the vagina to allow doctors to perform hysterectomies without any abdominal incisions or visible scarring.

Parkhill The Clinic for Women is the leading practice in the area using the vNOTES procedure. Parkhill’s Dr. Paige Partridge, who brought the technique to Northwest Arkansas after training on vNOTES with a doctor at UAMS, also travels the country training and supervising other gynecologists on the procedure. Dr. Partridge is seeking to make vNOTES more widely available to patients because she truly believes it is a safer, superior method for both the patient and doctor. Explaining vaginal methods for hysterectomies, Dr. Partridge notes that “science and data tell us, and have for 50 years, that this is the best and safest method.”

Traditionally, hysterectomies have been performed by creating a large incision in the abdomen to reach the uterus. There are now many minimally invasive options for hysterectomy, such as using a laparoscope (a thin tube with a camera) to view the inside of the abdomen or by using precise robotic tools for the surgery. And while these approaches can be less painful and often have shorter recovery times than traditional abdominal hysterectomies, they pale in comparison to vNOTES.

vNOTES was invented by Belgium surgeon, Dr. Jan Baekelandt, who was the first to perform transvaginal robotic surgery. Since first presenting the method at a conference in 2015, Dr. Baekelandt has since completed thousands of successful vNOTES procedures and has trained other doctors in the procedure. Training on vNOTES is spreading by word of mouth, trust between doctors, and a strong belief in the procedure.

Because it is non-invasive and uses existing technology, vNOTES is increasing in awareness. And this is great news for patients because of the benefits it offers them, including:

  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Less post-op pain
  • Less pain medication
  • Faster recovery time

Patient advocacy is important. Though performed by many doctors at Parkhill The Clinic for Women, vNOTES is not yet widely practiced, despite its being rooted in longstanding, traditional laparoscopic techniques. Patients need to know to ask their doctor if they’re a good fit for the procedure. Most patients are, though those with endometriosis will first need to have further conversations about safety and efficacy with their doctor. vNOTES is covered by insurance identically to laparoscopic methods—in most cases the same billing code is used—and can be even less expensive for patients since the outpatient procedure means there is no overnight hospital expense. Further, patients are typically able to return to work more quickly than with other hysterectomy methods. Patients should also know that the vNOTES procedure can also be used for those who need tubal ligations or need to have one or both of their ovaries removed. This can all be done without any incisions or hospital stays.

In addition to hysterectomy, vNOTES can also used to treat ovarian cysts, fibroids, tubal sterilization, abnormal uterine bleeding, and adenomyosis. Because of vNOTES, doctors are able to treat these conditions without making a single incision. Patients are exposed to less risk, fewer complications, and no visible scarring.

At Parkhill Clinic for Women, we believe that knowledge is power and the more women know about their options—the better. We’re proud to provide vNOTES as a safe, affordable hysterectomy option that offers superior results with far less pain and recovery time than traditional methods. If you believe VNOTES may be right for you, speak with your doctor or call Parkhill at (479) 521-4433 to schedule a consultation.