New technologies are improving medicine all the time. One of the newer technologies is using robotics in minimally invasive surgery (MIS). The ‘Davinci’ robot allows surgeons to perform more complicated surgeries without a laparotomy (a large incision into the abdomen). While this has been a boon for cancer surgeons to avoid laparotomy, general gynecologists have adopted the ‘robot’ for normal, benign hysterectomies Let me share some things about robotic surgery.
For the patient, the advantages versus regular laparoscopy are less painful laparascopic incisions, and less soreness afterward, because all of the movement done to perform the hysterectomy is now done inside the body, instead of from the abdominal wall (the surface). Also, the details that can be seen inside the body when using the robot allows for more precise surgery, often leading to less blood loss. There can be less complications for bladder and ureter injuries, which are the most common during hysterectomy, because of the detail offered. Laparascopic suturing is also easier. The physician enjoys these same benefits, being able to offer better results for patients!
The robot is not doing the surgery, the doctor is- I am in total control when I use the robot! While operating without the robot is perfectly acceptable, I perform most hysterectomies with the robot now. My patients have less blood loss, are under anesthesia for a shorter time, usually go home the afternoon of surgery, and use less pain medicine afterward. I am able to do more complicated, or more difficult, surgeries easier. With the robot, I am able to do myomectomies (removal of fibroids from the uterus) without a laparotomy, and my patients go back to work quickly! Feel free to ask me, or contact our office, if you would like to know more about robotic surgery. In this day and age, DON’T have a surgery where a laparotomy will be used for a GYN surgery without seeking a second opinion!
Braden Richmond, MD, FACOG