Many gynecologic surgeries today are still too complex to accomplish with conventional minimally invasive technologies. Until now, these patients have required a large open incision for their surgery. Many of these surgeries are myomectomies (removal of fibroids) or hysterectomies (removal of the uterus). More than half the hysterectomies performed in the U.S. still need to be done using large incisions. The dexterity needed to remove fibroid tumors and suture the uterus properly is challenging to impossible via traditional laparoscopy. However, robotic surgical enhancements today make this possible. Robotic assisted hysterectomy is a progressive, dynamic alternative to conventional laparoscopic and abdominal hysterectomy.
The da Vinci Surgical Robotic System incorporates the latest advances in robotics and computer technology to give surgeons exceptional control of instruments and clear three-dimensional views similar to those obtained in traditional open surgery. The instruments and 3-D cameras are inserted into the patient through small incisions, about the size of a keyhole. A special console gives the surgeon magnified 3-D views of the procedure. Precise, computer-enhanced controls manipulate the tiny surgical instruments in a natural, intuitive manner that mimics the hands of the surgeon.
With the robot, the magnification is improved, images are 3-D and dexterity is excellent. Complex procedures during a hysterectomy, such as securing the uterine vessels, performing an accurate culdotomy and over sewing the vaginal cuff, are facilitated by the robot, providing unique advantages over conventional surgery and improved patient outcomes post-procedure.
This advanced procedure benefits patients in many ways:
Dr. Anne Kalter and Dr. Cynthia Cooper perform robotic hysterectomies and myomectomies at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. Dr. Kalter is a proctor for Intuitive Surgical and teaches other doctors around the country how to perform the procedure. She is also head of the Robotics Committee at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.
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