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The da Vinci Hysterectomy: A Less Invasive Option

9/26/2011 12:00:00 AM  --St. Elizabeth Robotic Surgery Center

More than 600,000 women undergo hysterectomies in the U.S. each year to treat conditions such as cancer, uncontrollable bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis, infertility, pain or uterine prolapse. Until the last few years, the surgical options were limited to a traditional abdominal hysterectomy, a laparoscopic hysterectomy and a vaginal hysterectomy.

However, the St. Elizabeth Robotic Surgery Center provides women with a fourth option: a da Vinci® Hysterectomy. St. E’s is the only hospital within a 50-mile radius of Youngstown to offer this specialized robotic surgery.  More than 300 such procedures have been performed since the program began.  Almost 100 percent of these procedures are able to be completed using the robot, thus ensuring the most positive outcome for the patient.

The da Vinci® System offers significant benefits to both surgeon and patient. The intuitive motion of the instruments offers the surgeon greater precision and control, while the highly magnified, three-dimensional vision provides a better view of the target anatomy without requiring a larger incision.

From the patient’s perspective, the smaller (one to two centimeter) incisions needed for the instruments minimizes the pain and risks associated with large incisions, and increases the likelihood of a fast recovery and excellent patient outcomes.

The Advantages
The da Vinci® Surgical System has changed the experience of surgery for women facing hysterectomies, particularly those for whom laparoscopic hysterectomies may not be an option. In the past, women facing more difficult or complex gynecologic surgery have had to undergo open surgery, and face the possibility of significant pain, trauma, long recovery and a threat to surrounding organs and nerves—all of which can cause significant anxiety and even depression.

The da Vinci® Surgical System helps overcome the limitations of laparoscopy by enabling the surgeon to visualize and dissect diseased or damaged tissues and organs. This makes it a better tool for performing minimally invasive endoscopic surgery for the majority of surgical candidates.

Overall, a da Vinci® Hysterectomy offers several important potential benefits to patients including
• Less blood loss and scarring
• Significantly less pain
• Fewer complications and less risk of wound infection
• A shorter hospital stay with a faster return to normal daily activities.
Also, because the robotic arms pivot in a significantly smaller operating port compared to other forms of hysterectomy, the risk of tissue and nerve damage to the patient is minimized. However, as with any surgery, all benefits are patient- and procedure-specific.

The Technology
Powered by state-of-the-art robotic technology, the da Vinci® Surgical System enables surgeons to perform complex surgeries through tiny surgical openings. The surgeon maintains complete control of the System, which seamlessly translating his or her movements into precise, real-time movements of the surgical instruments inside the patient. Supporting surgical team members install the correct instruments and supervise the laparoscopic arms and tools being utilized.

Surgery of the Future—Here Today
Since 2007, the St. Elizabeth Robotic Surgery Center at St. E’s has used the da Vinci® Surgical System for surgeries such as hysterectomy, prostatectomy, partial nephrectomy, pyeloplasty, cystectomy and ureterolysis. For more information about the da Vinci® Hysterectomy, the physicians trained to use the system and the St. E’s Robotic Surgery Center, visit



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