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Gynecology

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.

Women who experience these conditions are often treated with hysterectomy (the surgical removal of the uterus). In fact, this procedure is the second most common surgical procedure for women in the United States, and an estimated one-third of all U.S. women will have a hysterectomy by age 60.

Common non-cancerous conditions treated with a hysterectomy include:

  • Fibroids (non-cancerous growths in the uterine wall)
  • Endometriosis (non-cancerous growths of the uterine lining)
  • Prolapse (falling or slipping of the uterus)

Treatment

Traditional open hysterectomy (or removal of the uterus) requires a 6 to 12-inch abdominal incision and weeks of recovery. Your doctor might recommend a hysterectomy to treat your condition. Hysterectomy can sometimes be performed through the vagina. However, when the uterus is large or if you have internal scarring from prior surgery or other conditions, abdominal hysterectomy is usually performed.

Abdominal hysterectomies can be performed with open surgery, which requires a wide 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 six weeks) is necessary. In addition, many patients are not happy with the scar left by the incision.

da Vinci Surgery

If your doctor recommends hysterectomy, you may be a candidate for an innovative, less invasive surgical procedure called the da Vinci hysterectomy. This procedure uses a state-of-the art surgical system designed to help your doctor perform the most precise and least invasive hysterectomy available today. The da Vinci hysterectomy is performed through five tiny incisions which heal in a fraction of the time.

 

Hysterectomy
hysterectomy procedure incisions using da vinci surgical robot
Open Surgical Incision
da Vinci Surgical Incision

 

While hysterectomy is a relatively safe procedure, it may not be appropriate or necessary for all individuals or conditions. Alternative treatments that preserve the uterus may be available. For example, the da Vinci myomectomy 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.

 

Myomectomy
myomectomy procedure incisions using da vinci surgical robot
Open Surgical Incision
da Vinci Surgical Incision

 

For women diagnosed with uterine fibroids, da Vinci myomectomy represents a minimally invasive surgical treatment designed to preserve the uterus. For women with uterine or vaginal prolapse, da Vinci sacrocolpopexy is also another minimally invasive surgical option for repairing prolapse. The da Vinci surgical system can also be used to preserve and restore including tubal reversals.

Benefits of da Vinci Surgery

For most women, da Vinci Hysterectomy offers numerous potential benefits over traditional surgical approaches, including:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Small incisions for minimal scarring
  • Less blood loss and need for transfusion
  • Less risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
  • Better outcomes and patient satisfaction, in many cases

Find a da Vinci Surgeon

Visit the da Vinci Surgeons page to see which physicians have been trained and certified to use the da Vinci Surgical System.

 

Information and images provided courtesy of Intuitive Surgical.