Medical technology continues to improve and innovate the way surgeons can perform surgery. Robotic surgery was approved by the FDA in 2005 and is a relatively new less-invasive technique, but different from both laparoscopic and open surgery. Before undergoing any kind of surgery for gynecologic cancer, discuss with Virginia Women’s Health these 5 things to know about robotic surgery for gynecologic cancer.
Robotic Surgery For Gynecologic Cancer Has Benefits
Similar to laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery is a less invasive type of surgery using tiny incisions rather than one large one like open surgery. Robotic surgery uses a robotic medical device controlled by the surgeon. This type of surgery has multiple benefits for the patient including less postoperative pain, less bleeding, a shorter time in the hospital, faster overall recovery, lower risk of complications, and less scarring to name a few.
Robotic surgery allows doctors to use smaller incisions, enhanced 3D imagery, and the image is magnified allowing for better precision. While sitting at the controls, the surgeon can manipulate the robot rather than holding the tools. The instruments are “wristed” meaning they work like a hand in all directions which gives the surgeon a better level of control.
Robotic Surgery Is Safe
This type of surgery is advantageous in small places like gynecologic and urologic surgeries where hands on surgery can be difficult.
It is also used in 80% of prostate removal surgeries.
Only Certain Patients Are Good Candidates
Those with early stage cancers are the best candidates for robotic surgery.
Forty thousand women are diagnosed with cancer in the US each year with uterine cancer being the most common.
Thirteen thousand are diagnosed with cervical cancer a year with the most common treatment being radical hysterectomy with a dissection of the lymph nodes.
Six hundred thousand have hysterectomies not related to cancer and would also be candidates for robotic surgery.
Those women with large tumors or an advanced stage of cancer require larger incisions and would not be candidates.
Robotic Surgery Also Has Risks
Robotic surgery is still major surgery and complications are alway possible. Talk with Virginia Women’s Health about your options and which kind of surgery is best for you.
The Expertise Of A Surgeon Is Still Important
Robotic surgery can have many benefits, but it is only as good as the surgeon controlling the robot. Make sure the surgeon is experienced in this type of surgery. Ask about success rates and complications. Gynecologic cancer surgeries are complex and require highly experienced and trained surgeons to perform them
Talk with Virginia Women’s Health about your gynecologic surgery for cancer, its pros and cons, your options, and if it is best for you.