Robotics Improves Surgeons' Ability to See and Move Instruments
Robotic technology has expanded the limits of gynecologic surgery by enabling surgeons to better visualize and more precisely perform highly technical laparoscopic procedures than would otherwise be possible. Robotic technology in association with the laparoscope allows surgeons to view anatomical structures - including small blood vessels, nerves and nearby organs - from a magnified, three-dimensional perspective. Robotics significantly enhances depth perception and range of motion, which enables surgeons to safely perform complex operations by remotely manipulating robotic arms while sitting at a console similar to a pilot's cockpit. Robotic technology adds no risks beyond those associated with laparoscopic hysterectomy.
While the use of robotics in the field of gynecology is increasing, it is estimated that only 2 percent of hysterectomies currently performed in the U.S. employ this technology. UCLA is one of only a few centers in Southern California with the technology and surgical expertise to offer robotic laparoscopic myomectomy and hysterectomy as an alternative for women who might otherwise face the increased risk of complications associated with open abdominal hysterectomysurgery.
A uterine fibroid is a common type of benign (non-cancerous) tumor that develops within the uterine wall. Uterine fibroids occur in up to one third of all women and are actually the leading reason for hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) in the United States. Uterine fibroids occur in 20-40% of all women during reproductive years.
Uterine fibroids may grow as a single tumor or clusters. They often increase in size and frequency with age, but may also revert in size after menopause. While not all women with fibroids experience symptoms, these may include excessive menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain and difficulty getting pregnant.
A common alternative to hysterectomy for fibroids is myomectomy, the surgical removal of fibroid tumors and a procedure considered standardof- care for removing fibroids and preserving the uterus. It therefore may be recommended for women who wish to become pregnant. Myomectomy is most often performed through a large abdominal incision. After removing each fibroid, the surgeon repairs the uterus to minimize potential bleeding, infection and scarring. Proper repair is critical to reducing the risk of uterine rupture during a future pregnancy. Fibroid embolization is a newer, non-invasive treatment available but, there are limited studies showing its long-term success. Another approach, laparoscopic myomectomy, offers a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery but is usually not an option for women with large fibroids, multiple fibroids or with fibroids in difficultto- reach areas.
If your doctor recommends surgery to treat uterine fibroids, you may be a candidate for a uterine-preserving, minimally invasive procedure – da Vinci Myomectomy. Using the most advanced technology available, da Vinci Myomectomy enables surgeons to perform this delicate operation with unmatched precision, vision and control using only a few small incisions. For women who want a uterine-sparing procedure, da Vinci Myomectomy offers numerous potential benefits over open abdominal surgery, including: