You’ve just been diagnosed with a condition requiring surgery. Until very recently your options included traditional surgery with a large open incision or laparoscopy, which uses small incisions but is typically limited to very simple procedures.
Thanks to a breakthrough surgical technology, there is a new category of minimally invasive surgery for which you may be a candidate. It is an effective, minimally invasive alternative to both open surgery and laparoscopy. Through the use of the da Vinci® Surgical System, surgeons are now able to offer a minimally invasive option for complex surgical procedures.
Imagine major surgery performed through the smallest of incisions. Imagine having the benefits of a definitive treatment but with the potential for significantly less pain, a shorter hospital stay, faster return to normal daily activities – as well as the potential for better clinical outcomes.
With the da Vinci Surgical System, surgeons and hospitals are re-writing accepted standards for surgical care. da Vinci is changing the experience of surgery.
A wide variety of benign (non-cancerous) conditions can affect a woman’s reproductive system, which consists of the uterus, the vagina, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. Most of these conditions affect the uterus, which is the hollow, muscular organ that holds a baby as it grows inside a pregnant woman.
Common types of gynecologic conditions like fibroids (non-cancerous growths in the uterine wall), endometriosis (non-cancerous growths of uterine lining), or prolapse (falling or slipping of the uterus) can cause chronic pelvic pain, excessive menstrual bleeding, and/or other disabling symptoms.
When medication and other non-invasive options are unable to relieve symptoms, surgery may be recommended to provide a more effective, long-term solution for a range of gynecologic conditions. If your doctor has recommended a hysterectomy, you are not alone – one in three women in the U.S. will have a hysterectomy before turning 60.
The Treatment: Hysterectomy
Hysterectomy can sometimes be performed through the vagina. However, when the uterus is enlarged or if you have internal scarring from prior surgery or other conditions, open abdominal hysterectomy is usually performed. Open abdominal hysterectomy requires a long incision below the navel. This procedure can be painful, involving heavy pain medications, risk of infection, and significant blood loss. After surgery, a long recovery (often 6 weeks) is necessary. In addition, many patients are not happy with the scar and abdominal muscle weakness left by the incision.
While hysterectomy is a relatively safe procedure, it may not be appropriate or necessary for all individuals or conditions. Alternatives to hysterectomy that preserve the uterus may be available. For example, da Vinci Myomectomy is a minimally invasive surgical alternative to hysterectomy that may be an option for women with fibroids who want to preserve their fertility and/or uterus. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits. Imagine waking and going through your morning rituals. Your eyes provide guidance to you as you brush your teeth. With a right and left eye, you are able to appreciate depth as you place the toothpaste on the toothbrush. Your hands and wrists work together, coordinating fine movements to grasp the toothbrush as you begin brushing.
Now imagine going through this ritual with one eye closed and your hands are replaced with paws. You are no longer able to perceive depth. The toothpaste hits the sink, missing its intended target. You are unable to grasp the toothbrush and your awkward movements render the complex task of brushing your teeth impossible. Traditional laparoscopy provides this 2 dimensional view of the operating field. The instruments used in traditional laparoscopy act as paws, able to move only in and out, right and left.
A da Vinci Robotic Surgical procedure surpasses the limits of conventional laparoscopic surgery, by permitting the surgeon to have complete control of the surgical field, with natural 3-dimensional vision, and wristed instruments that mimic the gross and fine movements of the human hand and fingers. Unlike laparoscopy, the surgeon regains the benefits found with open surgery. The surgeon can operate the instruments through tiny incisions, with real life visualization. This combination offers a dramatic improvement in the surgeon’s ability to see and handle tissues in a way that may allow for improved surgical outcomes.
da Vinci Hysterectomy: A Less Invasive Surgical Procedure
If your doctor recommends hysterectomy, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive alternative to traditional hysterectomy called da Vinci Hysterectomy. This procedure uses the da Vinci® Surgical System, a state-of-the-art surgical platform designed to help your doctor perform the most precise and least invasive hysterectomy available today. For most women, da Vinci Hysterectomy offers numerous potential benefits over traditional surgical approaches, including:
- Significantly less pain2
- Minimal blood loss and need for transfusion11,3
- Fewer complications11,12
- Shorter hospital stay11,12
- Quicker recovery and return to normal activities1,2
- Small incisions for minimal scarring
- Better outcomes and patient satisfaction, in many cases11
da Vinci Myomectomy
By overcoming the limitations of both traditional open and laparoscopic surgery, da Vinci is revolutionizing gynecologic surgery for women. It’s no wonder more and more women are choosing da Vinci Surgery for their hysterectomy. While myomectomy is also performed laparoscopically, this approach can be challenging for the surgeon, and may compromise results compared to open surgery.3 Laparoscopic myomectomies often take longer than open abdominal myomectomies, and up to 28% are converted during surgery to an open abdominal incision.4 Myomectomy can be a uterine-preserving alternative to open abdominal hysterectomy. A new category of minimally invasive myomectomy, da Vinci® Myomectomy, combines the best of open and laparoscopic surgery. With the assistance of the da Vinci® Surgical System – the latest evolution in robotics technology – surgeons may remove uterine fibroids through small incisions with unmatched precision and control.
Among the potential benefits of da Vinci Myomectomy as compared to traditional open abdominal surgery are:
- Opportunity for future pregnancy
- Significantly less pain
- Less blood loss
- Fewer complications
- Less scarring
- A shorter hospital stay
- A faster return to normal daily activities
da Vinci Myomectomy is performed with the da Vinci Surgical System, which allows your surgeon to perform a minimally invasive, yet remarkably precise, comprehensive reconstruction of the uterine wall, regardless of the size or location of your fibroids. The unique level of control and precision provided by da Vinci also can help your surgeon give the most precise and thorough reconstruction possible, helping to prevent possible uterine rupture (tearing) during future pregnancies.
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While myomectomy performed using the da Vinci Surgical System is considered safe and effective, this procedure may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.