Local Docs Enter Record Books With Largest Uterus Ever Removed

Two local doctors will be named in the Guiness Book of World Records for the biggest uterus removal ever.

The November 30, 2007 procedure at Tempe St. Luke's is a big deal in the world of minimally invasive surgical techniques, which are far easier on patients than surgeries that involve large incisions.

Using a method called laparoscopy, which involves sticking a tiny camera and surgical instruments into small incisions on the abdomen, Doctors Richard Demir (pictured above) and Greg Marchand removed the uterus of a 33-year-old woman who was suffering from pelvic pain and bleeding.

The uterus weighed 3,200 grams -- about seven pounds.

High-tech surgeons who use the challenging laparoscopic techniques take this kind of accomplishment very seriously, creating a Web site dedicated to the minimally invasive removal of uteruses that weigh one kilogram (1,000 grams, or about 2.2 pounds), and later a an updated site that upped the ante to two kilograms. The "three-kilo club" Web site is probably being designed right now.

On the one-kilo site, a doctor extolls the virtue of such surgeries in a poem:

The One Kilo Lion

Oh, Lion, clamp gently.
Pull the womb respectfully out.
It had glorious days.
Remember, You floated in its warm water,
in its heavenly calm chamber,
and grew on its soft bed of blood and silence.

Please, handle it with care
it has protected our seeds
and brought us music and love.
It nourished Pasteur and Mozart,
even those warriors: Napoleon and Caesar
who forgot the peace of their mother's womb.

Please, weigh it accurately,
it might be a kilo, as good as gold and diamonds.
It fed our children and wives
and made us the heroes of our times
as Achilles and Patroklos
and brought us fame and pride.
                         Mo Saidi, MD  February 28, 2001


Doctors using laparoscopy as pictured on 


Here's the news release sent out by Dr. Demir (confirmed as true by Tempe St. Luke's staff):


Guiness Awards World Record for Largest Uterus ever Removed - WITHOUT Cutting a Patient Open!

Tempe, AZ: Two Arizona surgeons were awarded a Guiness World Record™ this week for their accomplishment - removal of 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. In addition to numerous publications in gynecology and minimally invasive surgery, they are founding members of "The Society of Elite Laparoscopic Surgeons" (, a physician run organization dedicated to bringing advances in minimally invasive surgery to all patients who can benefit from them, regardless of their ability to pay. Demir is Director of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Ultrasound at Phoenician Women's Care in Chandler, AZ (, and Chairman, Section of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Tempe St. Luke's Hospital in Tempe, AZ.


Way to go, docs!

-- Ray Stern


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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.

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