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Robotic surgery for gynecologic conditions

  • Many women will experience problems affecting their uterus (womb) or other reproductive organs at some point in their lives. In fact, one in three women in the United States will have surgery to treat uterine disorders before she turns 60 - including fibroid tumors, endometriosis, prolapse and gynecologic cancer. These problems can cause chronic pain, excessive bleeding, infertility or other disabling conditions.

    If it is not possible to correct a gynecologic condition with medication or other methods, doctors traditionally recommend either open abdominal surgery or laparoscopic surgery. However, da VinciĀ® robotic surgery is fast becoming the preferred option for treating many gynecologic conditions. In some cases, for example, when a woman has dense scarring from previous operations, robotic surgery is the only alternative to open surgery.

    Our world-class surgeons have performed over 1,000 surgeries using the da Vinci robot.

  • While no woman wants to undergo surgery, many gynecologic conditions are now treatable without a large incision. Robotic surgery offers potential benefits for both patients and their doctors.

    Benefits for women

    • Smaller incisions - both the incisions and the instruments are tiny. This results in less scarring and trauma to surrounding tissues and organs. There are often fewer complications and fewer infections with robotic surgery, and patients experience significantly less pain and discomfort.
    • Reduced blood loss - patients loose 50% less blood during most robotic surgeries, reducing the need for transfusions.
    • Shorter hospital stay - shorter recovery times lead to reduced hospital costs and a quicker recovery and return to daily activities.
    • Better outcomes - the da Vinci system offers surgeons increased range of motion, high magnification and safety features that reduce human error.
    • Potential for pregnancy in the future - surgeons may be able to treat your condition and leave the uterus and other reproductive organs intact, giving you the potential for having children in the future.

    Robotic surgery is especially effective for more challenging procedures like radical hysterectomy to remove cancer. Because each patient and each procedure is unique, the benefits may vary. Talk to your doctor to find out if robotic surgery is an option for you.

  • The procedure

    During robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at a console a few feet from the patient and another member of the surgical staff stands at the operating table with four, jointed robotic arms overhead. The surgeon makes several small incisions, and inserts a tiny camera and miniature surgical instruments through the openings.

    The camera provides a detailed view of the pelvic cavity on a color monitor, while the robotic arms work with great precision at the surgeon's command. The surgeon controls every delicate movement of the micro-instruments at all times.

    Using this advanced technology, surgeons can now handle a wider range of cases, and carry out even the most complex procedures with improved accuracy and very little damage to surrounding tissue.

    Robotic surgery vs. traditional surgery

    For many years, doctors have successfully treated gynecologic conditions with surgery. Depending on the nature of the problem, a woman may need a hysterectomy, a myomectomy or sacrocolpopexy. Most of these operations are performed using open abdominal surgery, which typically requires a6- to 12-inch incision in the abdomen to reach the uterus and surrounding area. Women who undergo traditional open surgery often experience significant pain and blood loss, and may need many weeks to recover from the procedure.

    You might think robotic surgery only happens in science fiction movies, but this state-of-the-art technology is no longer a thing of the future. It is quickly becoming the preferred option for treating many gynecologic conditions. The da Vinci system allows surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery with more precision than ever before.