Memphis surgeon makes robotic hysterectomies possible for women of all sizes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A top Memphis surgeon for robotic hysterectomies is making it possible for obese women to get the procedure.

Prior to any surgery, doctors often ask overweight patients to lose a few pounds as the extra weight increases certain risks. But now Dr. Sanjeev Kumar said he’s developed a method that allows him to help any woman, regardless of size, who specifically needs a hysterectomy.

“Our patient population in general is obese so our patients look a little different than they would be up north, or up the east coast. In those we tilt them less. We call it the tilt down positions. We can’t quite get all turn down.  We can with a thinner patients so we have modified our technique based on that. We also use a couple other forms of detractors that we put in the belly to safeguard the other organs,” said Dr. Kumar.

A hysterectomy is a major surgery that is typically only considered once other treatment options have been proven unsuccessful. In addition to being a birth control option, the procedure can also help those with heavy periods, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Endometriosis, a prolapse of the uterus and even cancer.

For Michelle Ballard, it was the pain. She said she was told by a number of doctors she couldn’t have a hysterectomy done because of her size.

Dr. Kumar successfully performed the surgery on her back in July. Ballard said it has changed her life.

” I feel great.  I can stand I can walk, I can exercise everything,” said Ballard.

Dr. Kumar said recovery time for robotic surgery is much faster than traditional hysterectomies.