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Minimally Invasive Procedures
Minimally invasive surgical procedures avoid open invasive surgery in favor of closed or local surgery with less trauma. These procedures can often be done vaginally or involve use of laparoscopic instruments. Laparoscopy allows observation of the surgical field through an endoscope or similar device, and is carried out through small incisions in the skin to allow access into the pelvis or abdomen. This may result in shorter hospital stays, or allow outpatient treatment.
Minimally invasive surgery should have less operative trauma for the patient than an equivalent invasive procedure. Hospitalization time is shorter and the procedure causes less pain and scarring and reduces the incidence of post-surgical complications, such adhesions. Many laparoscopic procedures are considered to be relatively painless and, at worst, associated with mild discomfort. Complications are not common (only 5% of all operations).
Robotic Operating System
At UCLA Gynecologists have the benefit of using the da Vinci™ Surgical System, which enables surgeons to perform with unmatched precision and control – using only a few small incisions. The daVinci system is a robotic operating system, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for gynecologic surgery in 2005, is one of the newest technologies available for the treatment of gynecologic problems including hysterectomy and ovarian surgery for cancer and other conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse. The daVinci system offers all the benefits of laparoscopic surgery along with increased precision and effectiveness. Patients undergoing laparoscopic procedures typically experience less pain, have fewer instances of infection and recover more quickly than those undergoing open surgery.
For most patients, robotic surgery can offer numerous potential benefits over traditional approaches to vaginal, laparoscopic or open abdominal hysterectomy, particularly when performing more challenging procedures like radical hysterectomy for gynecologic cancer or sacrocolpopexy for pelvic organ prolapse. Potential benefits include:
How The Robotic System Works
The robotic system consists of two interactive mechanical arms, a camera arm, a three-dimensional (3D) image processing system and a remote control unit. The unit is located in the same operating room as the patient. As the surgeon manipulates the remote control unit, the motions of the surgeon are translated to the robotic arms. Each robotic arm consists of multiple appendages connected by joints. The "hand" of the robot holds interchangeable surgical instruments that can be moved in a manner similar to a human wrist. At all times, a second surgeon is positioned at the operating table to assist with exchanging the instruments on the robotic arms.
For patients, robotic hysterectomy can offer numerous potential benefits over traditional approaches to vaginal, laparoscopic or open abdominal hysterectomy, particularly when performing more challenging procedures like radical hysterectomy for gynecologic cancer. Potential benefits include:
Moreover, robotic hysterectomy provides the surgeon with a superior surgical tool for dissection and removal of lymph nodes during cancer operations, as compared to traditional open or minimally invasive approaches. Robotic hysterectomy also allows your surgeon better visualization of anatomy, which is especially critical when working around delicate and confined structures like the bladder. This means that surgeons have a distinct advantage when performing a complex, radical hysterectomy involving adhesions from prior pelvic surgery or non-localized cancer, or an abdominal hysterectomy.
At the UCLA Division of Gynecologic Oncology, we are equipped and staffed to perform a wide variety of gynecological procedures including:
Da Vinci Surgical System
UCLA Gynecology and Urogynecology physicians offers the latest treatment for pelvic floor prolapse -- the da Vinci Surgical System is a state-of-the-art robotic technology designed to help your surgeon perform a more precise, minimally invasive procedure.
The robotic gynecologic surgeons at UCLA are among the most experienced in the U.S., having performed more than 2,000 robotic surgeries since 2007. We organize our robotic surgery program in teams, so that a dedicated team of doctors, nurses and pain management professionals are best positioned to care for our robotic surgery patients every day.
Learn more about gynecologic robotic surgery at UCLA >
Prolapse (or falling) of any pelvic floor organ (vagina, uterus, bladder, rectum) occurs when the connective tissues within the body cavity are weak and unable to hold the structure in its natural orientation. The weakening of connective tissues accelerates with age, after child birth, with weight gain