New procedure to benefit cancer patients

Keyhole surgery which reduces the time cancer patients spend in hospital has been introduced at St John’s Hospital, Livingston.

Laparoscopic hysterectomies are being offered to female patients with endometrial cancer.

The procedure requires only three small incisions and is less invasive than the more traditional hysterectomy surgery.

In most cases patients are able to go home the following day with recovery taking a few weeks rather than months.

Dr Paul Mills, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, St. John’s Hospital, NHS Lothian said: “The laparoscopic hysterectomy is less invasive than a traditional hysterectomy and patients should be able to return to their normal way of life after only a few weeks.

“The laparoscopic surgery also reduces the risk of infection, recovery times are quicker and patients are able to take pain relief in tablet form rather than through an IV drip.”

Dr David Farquharson, Medical Director, NHS Lothian said: “The introduction of the laparoscopic hysterectomy at St. John’s Hospital is a major asset and has clear benefits for patients in West Lothian.

“A hysterectomy is a life changing operation and the adoption of this procedure will mean that patients are treated in a convenient location, spend less time away from home and will have a quicker recovery time.”

The procedures are carried out in the St John’s Hospital’s state-of-the-art Short Stay Elective Surgical Centre.


Notes to Editors

  • A hysterectomy involves the surgical removal of the uterus. A hysterectomy may be carried out in one of three ways. The laparoscopic (or keyhole) surgery is less invasive than the abdominal or vaginal hysterectomies, which involve an incision of the lower abdomen or vagina respectively.


  • The procedures are carried out in the day surgery clinic of St. John’s Hospital, Livingston and take approximately 90-minutes to perform.


  • Previously any patient from Lothian requiring a laparoscopic hysterectomy would be admitted to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. The recent launch of the procedure at St. John’s Hospital in Livingston will offer a more convenient and accessible location for patients from West Lothian.


  • The laparoscopic hysterectomy service was launched by Dr Mills along with colleagues Dr. Paul Dewart and Dr Graeme Walker, from the gynaecology department at St. John’s Hospital.


Issued: 10 May 2013

Kirstin Aitken

Communications Officer

NHS Lothian

Tel. 0131 465 5644