Peta-Anne Luz has been undergoing cervical surgery for three months.
- In Australia, about 30,000 women follow the uterus every year
- vNOTES is a new system used around the world and now in Australia.
- The surgery is designed to leave no scars and allow the patient to recover quickly
The 48-year-old is one of more than 30,000 women in Australia who undergo genital mutilation every year.
“I had endometriosis and adenomyosis. It was very painful and I went to bed every two weeks,” she said.
But instead of performing traditional cervical surgery, Ms. Luz has undergone a new procedure called vNOTES at Adelaide Lill Macwin Hospital.
Ms. Luz was one of 20 people involved in the experiment, which is less invasive.
Kate Walsh is an Adelaide gynecologist who performs vNOTES surgery.
“We want to put and remove a device that creates a seal that allows the abdomen to swell up, which allows you to see us and see the structures we want to cut …” said Dr. Walsh.
It is designed so that the surgery can be performed quickly, with no scarring and the patient recovering quickly.
“I was back at work. You know very quickly. This is a wonderful result.”
Adelaide gynecologist Tran Nguyen undergoes vNOTES surgery on Luz.
“She was able to recover more quickly than I expected, and she was mentally fit, so she waited a long time for surgery but was able to respond well and recover well,” said Dr. Nguyen.
South Australian Health Minister Stephen Wade said the operation was improving health.
“It reduces the recovery time by half, reduces the selected surgery time by 40 minutes – very good for patients, this is great for the hospital,” he said.
Innovative surgery is being used in other parts of the world and is beginning to appear in Australia.
Dr. Walsh: “Belgium has probably been a leader in vNOTES surgery and has been recognized worldwide.
“There are two surgeons who have started doing this in Sydney, but it’s really good for Australia.”
Ms. Luz says the operation changed her life.
“My mind is not foggy, I’m still working at 150 percent, so doing that would save my life,” she said.
Is women’s health a taboo subject?
Ms. Luz called for more work to focus on women’s health.
“I still feel like hysterectomies are something we haven’t talked about yet and I haven’t heard anything about it since I met one because I want the next generation of women to feel that this is not a taboo subject,” said Luz.
Meanwhile, Dr. Walsh is talking more about women’s struggle with menstruation and the pain it causes.
“I think we know now that this is really unacceptable,” she said.
“There are choices now for women and these choices are improving and reducing invasion and allowing them to continue their strong and successful lives.”