Busy mother of three Melanie Lafferty needed a hysterectomy and wanted a minimally invasive procedure. She heard of a new technnique Dr. K. Anthony Shibley invented to make the procedure safer.
Instead of simply cutting up the uterus inside the body so it can be removed, Dr. Shibley uses a bag to surround it first.
“So any debris that gets spun around, any fluid or cellular material, gets trapped and contained within the bag," Dr. Shibley explained.
In two years, Shibley and his partners have performed the technique on 200 patients with a bag that had already been approved for general abdominal surgery.
Now Shibley has invented a refined version of the bag designed specifically for minimally invasive hysterectomies to make the technique even simpler.
“There's a bag in development with a manufacturer out of Ireland that we should have FDA approval for, and on the market within the end of the year," he said.
Dr. Shibley is getting national interest in his technique. Lafferty was glad it was available to her.
“Having the surgery so young, at 30, I wanted to know that this surgery, when I'm 50, is not coming back to haunt me,” she said.
Some hospitals across the country have put restrictions on morcellation, unless a bag is used. Dr. Shibley said other doctors are now trying his technique and he believes it's making minimally invasive hysterectomies much safer.