Minimally Invasive Surgeries

Drs. Graven and Kilkenny no longer do open abdominal surgeries as it is unnecessary to put the patient through more complicated gynecologic surgeries that can now be done by the gynecologist with small incisions, either laparoscopically or with small incisions and the da Vinci robotic assistance. 


A laparoscopy procedure is an operation performed in the abdomen or pelvis through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) with the aid of a camera. It can either be used to inspect and diagnose a condition or to perform surgery. Dr. Graven and Dr. Kilkenny have extensive expertise in this area and have been performing laparoscopic surgery for more than 20 years.

Outpatient Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

Dr. Graven and Dr. Kilkenny have worked extensively with an anesthesiologist in order to develop their own outpatient laparoscopic hysterectomy. We remove the uterus through a few tiny incisions in the abdomen below the navel. We sometimes remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes at the same time, called “salpingo-oophorectomy.” Most of our patients are home in less than six hours and only need one to two weeks off after this procedure. We have performed hundreds of these procedures in the past 10 years. Our attention to detail in pain management makes this a very easy procedure on most patients. Because of our extensive skill, we can remove a very large uterus without large incisions. This makes for a fast recovery.

Robotic Surgery

Robot-assisted surgery is now coming into wider use for these conditions because it allows for excellent visualization of the blood vessels, ureters and surrounding tissue as well as improved ability to suture the vagina after removal of the uterus and cervix. Robotic surgery hysterectomy also appears to be associated with decreased blood loss during surgery. Dr. Graven and Dr. Kilkenny are two of the first surgeons trained on the robot in the South Bay area and are able to do almost all of their extensive procedures through the laparoscopy procedure.

Stress Incontinence

This type of incontinence is used to describe the loss of urine unintentionally during physical activity. Many adult women of different ages have a tendency to "leak" urine when they cough, sneeze, laugh or perform different forms of exercise. The embarrassment and discomfort this problem causes many women to suffer in silence because they are simply unaware that there are effective treatments for the problem. And we have those treatments right here at A Women's Center. 

Dr. Kilkenny and Dr. Graven are two of only several gynecologist surgeons in the Bay Area who are able to fix incontinence with either the laparoscope or with da Vinci robotic assistance. This makes recovery from this type of surgery incredibly fast.