An increasing number of women are offered robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy as treatment for early-stage endometrial cancer in the developed world.
The aim of this study was to explore how women diagnosed with early-stage endometrial cancer experienced robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy.
Semistructured interviews were carried out with 12 women, and interview data were analyzed by qualitative content analysis.
Four overarching themes emerged: “surgery was a piece of cake,” “recovering physically after surgery,” “going from being off guard to being on guard,” and “preparing oneself by seeking information.” The women had confidence in the robotic technique and experienced fast recovery after robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy; however, they had uncertainties and unanswered questions concerning the postoperative course. Shortly after discharge, the women did not consider themselves surviving cancer patients but as cured. The women searched for information from various sources, for example, the Internet and the online patient chart, to prepare for surgery and to come to terms with the diagnosis.
Although the women had confidence in the robotic technique and recovered quickly physically, they lacked information about what went on in the operation theatre and about their new anatomy.
Implications for Practice:
Patient education about the normal postoperative course in regard to vaginal bleeding, bowel function, and level of physical activity is needed. Individualized information about anatomical changes after surgery is warranted, preferably using anatomical drawings. Potentially, the women could benefit from attending a nursing clinic during the first postoperative months.