A new minimally invasive option for hysterectomy procedures is now available to patients at The Bellevue Hospital (TBH). Known as vNOTES (vaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery), the advanced gynecologic technique provides many benefits to female patients, such as a shorter hospital stay, less postoperative pain, no visible scars, and a faster recovery time.
Corey Fazio, D.O., board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and a member of The Bellevue Hospital’s medical staff, has been specially trained on this innovative approach to hysterectomy and other common gynecologic procedures. Dr. Fazio, one of the 29 surgeons in the state of Ohio performing this technique, has been offering vNOTES to enhance patient care for women since he completed his training in April 2022.
“As a surgeon, I’m continually seeking opportunities and training to offer the most leading-edge techniques to my patients,” said Fazio. “As a less invasive option, vNOTES provides many benefits to my patients, including quicker recovery time, less pain and no visible scarring.”
The vNOTES technique, which uses the vagina as a surgical access route, is the newest approach to hysterectomy procedures. For the surgery, a vNOTES device known as the GelPOINT® V-Path transvaginal access platform is placed through the vagina into the pelvic cavity, giving access to the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. The vNOTES device is the means by which the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas to give the surgeon the space needed to see and operate. A high-definition camera and specialized instruments are inserted through the device, allowing surgeons to operate with the utmost precision and visualization. Once the surgery is completed, the vNOTES device is removed and the gas is evacuated.
“The vast majority of my patients are able to leave the hospital the same day they were admitted for their vNOTES hysterectomy procedure. They appreciate the fact that they can return to their busy lives more quickly and get back to what matters most,” said Fazio.
Elizabeth Ollervides of Fremont has been a patient of Dr. Fazio’s for nearly eight years. After the birth of her youngest child, she began experiencing heavy menstrual cycles with a lot of pain.
“My menstrual cycles became extremely difficult to deal with, to the point I was vomiting every month due to the pain my cycle caused,” said Ollervides. “I had an endometrial ablation to help reduce my heavy menstrual bleeding, but that was not a long-term solution for me.”
Dr. Fazio recommended the vNotes hysterectomy procedure to Ollervides as a surgical option after determining she would be a good candidate for the treatment. “Dr. Fazio thoroughly explained the procedure to me and told me what to expect before and after surgery,” Ollervides said. “He is a very caring physician and helped me make the best, informed decision for my health.”
“The vNotes procedure and recovery went 100% better than what I was expecting,” added Ollervides. “I woke up after surgery not even feeling like I had just had a surgical procedure done. The next day, I went to the county fair and walked around like normal. My family and friends couldn’t believe how fast the recovery was. I would highly recommend the vNotes approach to someone looking into having a hysterectomy.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists have recommended vaginal hysterectomy, whenever feasible, as the approach of choice.
“Surgical societies see the benefits of minimally invasive vaginal hysterectomy, but the procedure is rarely performed because of the difficulties involved in seeing and accessing critical anatomy. vNOTES solves these challenges using innovative technology designed to enhance patient outcomes,” Fazio added.
In the U.S., about 500,000 hysterectomies are performed each year for women with chronic pain, fibroids, heavy bleeding, endometriosis, and precancerous or cancerous tumors.
Dr. Fazio, having over 20 years of obstetric and gynecological experience, offers annual exams, screenings, family planning services, gynecological care, infertility evaluation, menopausal care and obstetrical care for patients ages 13 and over.
For more information on women’s health services at The Bellevue Hospital, visit bellevuehospital.com/ services/great-lakes or call 419.483.2494.