Hysterectomy to remove the uterus is a common surgery for women. It’s usually recommended to treat uterine fibroids, endometriosis, prolapse, abnormal uterine bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, or gynecologic cancer. Many places, like Kelsey-Seybold, offer robotic-assisted hysterectomies. While not suitable for every hysterectomy, robotic-assisted surgery is often a good alternative to traditional open surgery and has several advantages for the patient.
Open surgery requires a large incision in the abdomen. Your surgeon removes the uterus through this incision. Not only can open surgery leave more noticeable scarring, it also puts patients at a higher risk for blood loss and infection. Robotic-assisted hysterectomies are done laparoscopically through four or five tiny incisions around the abdomen. They are far less invasive and reduce the risk of blood loss, infection, and serious scarring.
During a robotic-assisted hysterectomy, your surgeon uses a computer, called the da Vinci System®, to control surgical instruments steadily and precisely. In fact, it requires every surgical maneuver to be performed by the surgeon. The system can’t be programmed or make decisions or movements on its own. This robotic-assisted device gives surgeons:
- A better, 3-D high-definition view inside the patient’s body via cameras affixed to the instruments inside the body.
- Enhanced vision, precision, and control.
- Wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand.
The da Vinci System has been used in more than a million minimally invasive procedures worldwide. In the hands of a surgeon who has training and experience in robotic-assisted surgery, it’s considered safe and effective, and it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Because robotic-assisted hysterectomies are far less invasive than open surgery, patients typically experience reduced downtime following the procedure. Patients usually have fewer complications and a lower length of hospital stay, which means they heal faster and can get back to their daily routine in less time. Patients often report they experience less pain following a robotic-assisted hysterectomy, as opposed to other hysterectomy procedures, and have minimal scarring because of smaller incisions.
Who makes a good candidate?
Hysterectomies are performed for a variety of reasons. Robotic-assisted hysterectomies are often considered for patients who have cancer of the uterus, uterine prolapse, fibroid tumors in the uterus, abnormal vaginal bleeding or endometriosis. Typically, patients who are not candidates for non-robotic minimally invasive surgery are also not candidates for robotic-assisted hysterectomies.
Dr. Jagjit Khairah is a board-certified Obstetrics and Gynecology specialist who provides complete maternity care and delivery, including prenatal counseling. He cares for his patients at Kelsey-Seybold’s Fort Bend Medical and Diagnostic Center, where he performs minimally invasive laparoscopic/hysteroscopic procedures. He’s also trained in robotic surgery utilizing the da Vinci® System.