Dr. Marchand and another surgeon received a Guinness World Record™ in 2008 for their accomplishment of removing a huge uterus without needing to resort to cutting the patient open. The surgeons removed a 3200 gram (approximately 7 pound) uterus without resorting to laparotomy (cutting the patient open.) This surgery utilized an advanced “minimally invasive” surgical technique called “Laparoscopy,” where surgeons use small “keyholes” in the patient’s abdomen to perform the surgery instead of cutting them open. Although Laparoscopic Surgery and other minimally invasive techniques are being used more and more frequently throughout the country, this is believed to be the largest uterus ever removed without cutting a patient open, shattering the previous record of 3050 grams.
“It’s all about the patient,” Said the surgical team leader Richard Demir MD. “With minimally invasive surgery patients recover faster, and can be back to work in a few days – not the weeks of recovery a traditional hysterectomy needs. We are please that Guiness is recognizing us for our achievement, but the real achievement is the thousands of women annually that are helped by these surgeries.”
Advantages of Minimally Invasive Surgery over traditional “Cut the patient open”surgery include faster recovery, less blood loss, fewer serious complications, and less post operative pain. Not all surgeons can perform these advanced techniques. Despite all of these advantages, of the estimated 600,000 hysterectomies performed in the US each year, less than one third utilize these techniques. The main barrier to availability seems to be finding doctors that are surgically capable and willing to perform these procedures, which often carry no monetary incentive to the surgeon.
“I hope this world record brings attention to minimally invasive surgery,” said Greg Marchand MD, the other half of the surgical team. “There are far too many women being cut open when they just don’t need to be.”
Both Dr. Demir and Dr. Marchand are licensed physicians and surgeons in Arizona.