While some technology is designed to replace the human component entirely, this is certainly not the case when it comes to robotic surgery. This emerging surgical technique is designed to enhance precision and accuracy while preserving invaluable human experience, providing patients with the best of both worlds.
At Advanced Endometriosis Center, our own Ulas Bozdogan, MD, is at the forefront of this exciting advancement in surgical technology, and he has become one of the go-to surgeons for robotic hysterectomies.
Here’s a look at what you can expect from a robotic hysterectomy and why it’s fast becoming the preferred approach.
What are hysterectomies?
There are many reasons why women undergo a hysterectomy, from reproductive issues, such as endometriosis and fibroids, to more serious conditions, such as cancer. Traditionally, this procedure was performed by opening your abdomen and removing your uterus (along with other reproductive organs if necessary). This approach caused extensive tissue damage and there was considerable downtime afterward.
During the 1980s, laparoscopy became more widely accepted and was recognized as a much better approach to hysterectomies thanks to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure. With laparoscopy, surgeons only need to make very small incisions, through which they thread a specialized camera and tools to do the work.
Taking this breakthrough a step further, the FDA approved the da Vinci® system for laparoscopic surgery in 2000, which provides robotic “arms” that translate the movement of the surgeon’s hands with unprecedented precision and accuracy.
What happens during a da Vinci hysterectomy?
There are several benefits that come with this ground-breaking and minimally invasive technology. Like laparoscopy, we only make a few incisions around your abdomen to perform your hysterectomy. Unlike laparoscopy, there are times when we can turn to da Vinci’s Single-Site® technology, which means we only make one small incision in your belly button.
Next, Dr. Bozdogan places himself in front of a console where he’s able to see the entire procedure in 3-D on a high-definition screen. Using small instruments that translate the movements of his hands, Dr. Bozdogan guides the robotic arms to perform your hysterectomy. While these robotic arms provide more precision and accuracy than human hands, especially in small spaces, we want to assure you that Dr. Bozdogan is in control the entire time.
What happens after a hysterectomy?
While you won’t necessarily be aware of the benefits of robotic surgery while it’s being performed, you will reap the rewards afterward.
Since there’s far less collateral tissue damage with the da Vinci system, you can expect:
- Only a one-night hospital stay
- Less pain
- Less bleeding
- Reduced risk of infection
- Faster recovery time
You should expect to take it easy for 4-6 weeks afterward, which means no strenuous activities or heavy lifting. That said, thanks to robotic surgery, you should be back to your normal routine much sooner than if you underwent open surgery.
If you have more questions about what to expect from a robotic hysterectomy, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Endometriosis Center today.