Brinkmann Gynaecology

Robotic Approach Broadens Options for Gynaecological Surgery

When medication and non-invasive procedures are unable to relieve symptoms, surgery remains the accepted and most effective treatment for a range of gynaecological conditions.  Traditional open surgery has for many years been the standard approach yet open surgery can cause significant pain, trauma, threat to surrounding organs and nerves and a long recovery process.

In robotic surgery, or robot-assisted surgery, the uniquely trained surgeon conducts procedures through small incisions using a robotic system. Robotic surgery allows surgeons to perform many complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than standard surgical techniques.  Some people who aren't candidates for open or minimally invasive surgery may be candidates for robotic surgery.

Robotic gynaecological surgery is the most recent development in minimally invasive surgical techniques.  It offers many of the benefits associated with laparoscopic surgery and much more. These benefits include:

Decreased blood loss and transfusion requirements
  • Fewer instances of postoperative infection
  • Reduced postoperative pain
  • Shorter hospital stays and recovery periods

 

Surgical robots can also help overcome some of the challenges associated with conventional laparoscopy by allowing surgeons to operate with more precision and flexibility.  Laparoscopic surgery poses some well-documented challenges because surgeons must rely on 2-dimensional imaging of the surgical field and learn counterintuitive hand movements.  Robotic technology overcomes these limitations, using 3-dimensional view of the surgical field and highly manoeuvrable instruments that more closely mimic the direction and movement of the surgeon's hands (seven degrees of motion versus three degrees provided in laparoscopy).

The surgical instruments are equipped with articulating tips and wrist mobility that improves precision. This sensitivity enhances a surgeon's ability to navigate challenging anatomy, to deftly perform micro resection, and to precisely place sutures and the instruments and filter out any hand tremor.

 Surgical indications

A robot-qualified surgeon can now use the robotic system to perform many complex gynaecological procedures, including hysterectomy, cancer staging operations, myomectomy (especially when preserving fertility is a goal), and correction of vaginal prolapse.

The robotic surgery option has proven effective for patients who require hysterectomy due to both benign and malignant conditions, including cervical and endometrial cancer.  Additionally, robotic technology offers a minimally invasive surgical option for patients in whom vaginal hysterectomy is contraindicated by obesity or other factors. Patients who in the past traditionally required a large incision for gynaecological surgery for various reasons may now take advantage of the benefits associated with minimally invasive hysterectomy.

With fewer wound complications, a shorter than average hospital stay, and patients' resumption of most normal activities within 2 weeks following surgery, the robotic approach to gynaecological surgery is fast becoming a preferred option for patients.