Robotic Surgery & Female Cancer
Laura Williams, MD GYN Oncologist
Barry Jarnagin, MD Uro-Gynecologist
Monday, March 23, 2009
When medication and non-invasive procedures are unable to relieve symptoms, surgery remains the accepted and most effective treatment for a range of gynecologic conditions. These include, but are not limited to, cervical and uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse and menorrhagia or excessive bleeding.
Traditional open gynecologic surgery, using a large incision for access to the uterus and surrounding anatomy, has for many years been the standard approach to many gynecologic procedures. Yet with open surgery can come significant pain, trauma, a long recovery process and threat to surrounding organs and nerves. For women facing gynecologic surgery, the period of pain, discomfort and extended time away from normal daily activities that usually follows traditional surgery can understandably cause significant anxiety.
Fortunately, less invasive options are available. Some gynecologic procedures enable surgeons to access the target anatomy using a vaginal approach, which may not require an external incision. But for complex hysterectomies and other gynecologic procedures, robot-assisted surgery may be the most effective, least invasive treatment option. Through tiny, 1-2 cm incisions, surgeons can operate with greater precision and control, minimizing the pain and risk associated with large incisions while increasing the likelihood of a fast recovery and excellent clinical outcomes.
If your doctor recommends hysterectomy, one of the most effective, least invasive treatment options for a range of uterine conditions. This robotic procedure enables surgeons to perform with unmatched precision and control - using only a few small incisions.
da Vinci Hysterectomy offers numerous potential benefits over traditional approaches to vaginal, laparoscopic or open abdominal hysterectomy, particularly when performing more challenging procedures like radical hysterectomy for gynecologic cancer. Potential benefits include:
Moreover, robotic surgery provides the surgeon with a superior surgical tool for dissection and removal of lymph nodes during cancer operations, as compared to traditional open or minimally invasive approaches. This allows your surgeon better visualization of anatomy, which is especially critical when working around delicate and confined structures like the bladder. This means that surgeons have a distinct advantage when performing a complex, radical hysterectomy involving adhesions from prior pelvic surgery or non-localized cancer, or an abdominal hysterectomy.
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While radical hysterectomy or abdominal hysterectomy performed using the robot are considered safe and effective, these procedures may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.