Robot-assisted surgery has been a medical reality since the 1990s. However, it has only been more recently available for the gynecologic community with the FDA approving robotic surgical systems for gynecologic applications in 2005.1
This gives the more than 600,000 U.S. women per year who need a hysterectomy new options. Before 2005, the only path was a traditional surgery with a large incision, long recovery and excessive pain. But minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery can reduce many of these common complaints, as well as reduce scarring.
Meet the da Vinci® Robotic System
Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN) is pleased to offer the da Vinci® Si™ Surgical System with Firefly technology to our gynecological patients as well as general surgery patients. It’s the safest and most advanced technology in surgery today, and if you are a patient facing a hysterectomy it can truly make your experience a smooth one.
Wait, does a robot operate on me?
The short answer is no; da Vinci® becomes your doctor’s hands, giving your surgeon more dexterity and clarity than ever before. During your procedure the surgical team will tap into resources like enhanced 3D, high-definition vision of the operative field, superior visual clarity of tissue and anatomy, and an updated user interface.
“The da Vinci® replicates the surgeon's movements in real time,” said Linda Lemire, MS, RN, NEA-BC, Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services at ECHN. “It cannot be programmed or make decisions on its own to move in any way. In fact, when the surgeon pulls back from the view screen, da Vinci® freezes — until the surgeon returns to become fully engaged with the da Vinci® controls.”
All that is to say this robot helps your surgeon go beyond the limitations of the human hand to make your hysterectomy more efficient and less invasive.
How a Robotic Surgery Hysterectomy Can Benefit You
When it comes to your health, you want the best care, but you can’t always afford to be out of work or away from your family for a long time. That’s where da Vinci® Robotic Surgery can truly be a great option. Because the robotic surgery only makes small incisions in the body, there is less trauma and therefore the recovery is much faster. There is also significantly less scarring, among other great benefits.
The potential benefits of a hysterectomy with da Vinci® over traditional surgery:
Finding the Right Place for Your Robotic Surgery Hysterectomy
Less blood loss5,6
Shorter hospital stay6
Low risk of wound infection7
Quicker recovery and return to normal activities8
Once you’ve made the decision to have your hysterectomy, the next step is finding a hospital and a doctor that supports this new technology. The good news is ECHN is ahead of the curve and both Manchester Memorial Hospital and Rockville General Hospital have a comprehensive Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery Program.
"We believe that the new features of the da Vinci® Si™ Robotic System will help us provide the best possible outcomes and is proof of our commitment to provide our community access to the latest advancements in minimally invasive surgery,” says Peter J. Karl, President & CEO of Eastern Connecticut Health Network.
Shashoua AR, Gill D, Locher SR. Robotic-assisted total laparoscopic hysterectomy versus conventional total laparoscopic hysterectomy. Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons. 2009 Jul-Sep; 13(3): 364-369, abstract on
Women's Health.gov: "Hysterectomy in the United States, 2000–2004."
Ko EM, Muto MG, Berkowitz RS, Feltmate CM.Robotic versus open radical hysterectomy: a comparative study at a single institution. Gynecol Oncol. 2008 Dec;111(3):425-30. Epub 2008 Oct 16.
Piquion-Joseph JM, Navar A, Ghazaryan A, Papanna R, Klimek W, Laroia R. Robot-assisted gynecological surgery in a community setting. Journal of Robotic Surgery, 2009:1-4.
DeNardis SA, Holloway RW, Bigsby GE, Pikaart DP, Ahmad S, and Finkler NJ. Robotically assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy versus total abdominal hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy for endometrial cancer. Gynecologic Oncology 2008;111:412-417.
Payne, T. N. and F. R. Dauterive. A comparison of total laparoscopic hysterectomy to robotically assisted hysterectomy: surgical outcomes in a community practice. J Minim Invasive Gynecol, 2008;15(3): 286-291.
Boggess JF, Gehrig PA, Cantrell L, Shafer A, Ridgway M, Skinner EN, Fowler WC. A comparative study of 3 surgical methods for hysterectomy with staging for endometrial cancer: robotic assistance, laparoscopy, laparotomy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Oct;199(4):360.e1-9.
Bell MC, Torgerson J, Seshadri-Kreaden U, Suttle AW, Hunt S. Comparison of outcomes and cost for endometrial cancer staging via traditional laparotomy, standard laparoscopy and robotic techniques. Gynecol Oncol. 2008 Dec;111(3):407-11. Epub 2008 Oct 1.
“Facing Gynecological Cancer?” Intuitive Surgical, Inc, patient brochure.