When you think of surgery, you probably think of a long recovery time. Fortunately, for women needing a hysterectomy, there may be another solution, thanks to robotic-assisted gynecological surgery now being performed at Little Company of Mary.
The technology, known as the da Vinci Surgical System, enables doctors to perform major gynecological surgery with only a few small incisions, so patients recover faster.
It is being used at Little Company of Mary to treat a number of gynecologic conditions that might require a hysterectomy, including:
- Fibroid tumors
- Abnormal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
By combining robotics and state-of-the-art computer technology, the da Vinci system enables surgeons to operate with greater precision than is possible with both open surgery and laparoscopic surgery.
“With the da Vinci system, we have the full range of motion with our instruments when we operate, which means greater dexterity and control,” says Travis Haldeman, D.O., an OB/GYN on staff at Little Company of Mary. “The robotic system makes technically challenging gynecological surgery much easier.”
A da Vinci hysterectomy is performed through four or five small incisions in the patient’s abdomen. Surgeons sit at a console, where they direct the movement of the robotic arms and have a highly magnified 3-D view of their operating field. The system translates the surgeon’s hand movements at the console into precise movements of the surgical instruments attached to the robotic arms.
Alexis Jones, M.D., an OB/GYN on staff at Little Company of Mary, says she can see so well with da Vinci’s high-definition visualization that it’s almost like being inside the patient. “During surgery, you can recognize a bleeding blood vessel right away and stop the bleeding immediately,” she says. “This helps decrease the risk for complications and the need for a blood transfusion and can lead to better outcomes.”
In addition to a quicker recovery time, other potential benefits of a robotic-assisted surgery include less blood loss, reduced postoperative pain and a reduced risk for infection.
“We see patients the morning after a robotic-assisted hysterectomy, and they’ve already eaten and are up and dressed,” says Monica Christmas, M.D., an OB/GYN at Little Company of Mary. “It’s remarkable. Patients having this surgery typically go home the next day, and most are back to normal functioning in two to four weeks.”
For more information about Little Company of Mary’s OBGYN’s, please visit our website at www.lcmh.org.