Surgery may be required when medication and other treatments can't relieve symptoms of certain gynecologic conditions. With robotic surgery, the surgeon uses much smaller incisions, which may mean:
- Less blood loss, pain and scarring
- Shorter hospital stay - average length of stay with robotic surgery is one day, vs. four days with traditional, open surgery
- Faster return to normal activities
HCC surgeons are using robotic surgery for hysterectomy, myomectomy, removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes and other procedures. Conditions treated include:
Benign (non-cancerous) gynecologic conditions
- Adenomyosis - The endometrial tissue that normally lines the uterus moves into the outer muscular walls of the uterus. This may cause a mass or growth, called an adenomyoma. Hysterectomy may be necessary with severe symptoms.
- Endometriosis - Endometrial tissue grows in other areas of the body, usually in the pelvic area, but can occur in other areas. In severe cases, hysterectomy to remove the uterus and cervix is performed, along with removal of both ovaries.
- Ovarian remnant syndrome - Ovarian tissue leftover after removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes can cause pelvic pain and other problems. The surgeon will remove remaining tissue.
- Pelvic pain - Surgeons may perform robotic procedures to relieve chronic pelvic pain.
- Uterine fibroids - Benign tumors called fibroids form in the uterus. Hysterectomy may be performed, but some patients may have a myomectomy, which removes fibroids but preserves the uterus.
- Tubal reanastomosis - A procedure to reverse tubal ligation.
- Vaginal prolapse - The vagina or structures like the uterus, rectum, bladder or others may fall out of their normal positions (prolapse) due to weakening of the muscles, ligaments, and skin in and around the vagina. Untreated, prolapse may result in structures moving into the vagina or through the vaginal opening. Surgeons may use da Vinci to perform sacrocolpopexy, a procedure in which mesh is used to hold the vagina in the correct anatomical position.
- Ovarian cysts - Cysts that produce pain or other symptoms may be surgically removed via a minimally invasive cystectomy.
HCC surgeons use robotic surgery to treat uterine cancer
, and early-stage ovarian and cervical cancers
. Depending on the type and stage of cancer and other factors, surgeons will often perform a hysterectomy and may also remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Robotic surgery can also be used for comprehensive surgical staging
, which allows doctors to determine the extent of the cancer and help determine what future treatments, such as chemotherapy, might be needed. For staging, a gynecologic oncologist will remove all visibly cancerous areas, along with the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus. The doctor may also remove lymph nodes in the area of concern, and/or the omentum (a sheet of fatty tissue that protects the intestines).