Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery for Women

While no woman wants to face surgery, today the vast majority of gynecologic conditions can now be treated effectively without a big incision and shorter recovery time.   Robotic assisted surgery requires only a few small incisions, so you can get back to life faster – within days rather than the usual weeks required with traditional open abdominal surgery.

Robotic assisted surgery offers a minimally invasive option with all the impact of an open procedure for certain surgeries including urology, gynecology and cardiothoracic surgery.

At the cutting edge of robotic technology, the da Vinci Robotic Surgical Systems gives surgeons better images with three dimensional, true to life pictures in crisp detail. With this degree of accuracy, surgeons can operate in relatively confined spaces with significantly increased visualization and precision. These surgical instruments are designed to precisely mimic motions of the human hand and wrist.

Minimally invasive robotic gynecologic procedures include hysterectomy, sacrocolpopexy, ovarian cystectomy, and salpingo-oopherectomy (bilateral and unilateral). The most common is hysterectomy. If you are considering or your doctor has recommended a hysterectomy, you are not alone – one in three women in the U.S. will have a hysterectomy before turning 60. However, new technology like the da Vinci Surgical System has made the traditional hysterectomies a thing of the past.  The traditional abdominal hysterectomies are performed with open surgery, which requires a wide incision below the navel. This procedure can be painful, involving heavy medications, risk of infection and significant blood loss. After surgery, a recovery of at least 6 weeks is necessary. In addition, many patients are not happy with the scar left by the incision of a traditional abdominal hysterectomy.

Since minimally invasive surgeries require only tiny openings for instruments, patients leave the hospital without large, traumatic incisions. There are many other benefits as well: Minimally invasive entry points, smaller incisions, shorter hospital stay, tiny scars, decreased risk of infection, less scarring and blood clots, faster recovery time, speedier return to daily activities and in many cases, better clinical outcomes.

As you can see a minimally invasive robotic surgery will have you getting back to life much faster. As a woman, I understand those benefits and educate my patients to the best of my knowledge. If I am personally faced with having a hysterectomy, I will definitely choose the minimally invasive option.

Grace Gibbs, D.O., F.A.C.O.O.G.

Lexington Women’s Health

Dr Grace Gibbs

The Robotic Surgery Revolution

So what’s all the hype about robotic surgery? If you would have told me ten years ago that I would be spending my days in the operating room with a robot assisting me, I would have thought you were crazy! But it’s true. When the difficult decision is made to undergo hysterectomy, we are often concerned about the amount of time required for recovery. We’re all too busy to be down for surgery! We want the least invasive option that will meet our needs safely.

 Robotic surgery has distinct advantages over traditional surgery requiring a large incision on the abdomen. Robotic surgery is done through small incisions less than one centimeter. It follows that there is less pain with robotic surgery. Robotic surgery is much more precise than other operations and as a result, there is less blood loss. Operations for women with multiple prior surgeries or a very large uterus can be done with robotic technique. If you are facing hysterectomy and are told you are not a candidate for minimally invasive surgery, certainly seek a second opinion! Chances are, you could be home the same day as your operation and back to most normal activities in 2 weeks!

 

Jennifer A. Fuson, MD

Jennifer Fuson 2014 Black and White